The consistently remarkable actors deliver, as always, bravado performances in one of the best films of the year!
It may not be 3-D or have the Hollywood star wattage of other films this holiday season, but the small and intimate Blue Valentine is without doubt one of the best films of 2010. The disgustingly talented Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams take center stage as Dean and Cindy, at once deeply in love and later weathered and frustrated as the film cuts back and forth between the two extremes. Through the brilliance of director Derek Cianfrance‘s script, written with Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne, the film manages to be wholly honest and never gimmicky or cliche as it examines the relationship of this ultimately doomed couple.
Gosling is, as always, fully committed in his portrayal of Dean, whose initial lovestruck dopiness develops into nagging insecurity as the film progresses. Though he shows no signs of vanity in his portrayal of the chubby and folicularly challenged elder Dean, he somehow manages to find the charm in what could in other hands be an entirely unlikable character.
As for Ms. Williams, she proves once again that she can deliver spot on and devastating performances that never once strike a false note. While other actress’ aspiring to be of her caliber may rely on accents or physical transformations (though it should be noted she did gain 15 pounds for the role) to bring gravity to their performances, Williams can deliver more with a glance or, in this case, drunken sip of her drink than most actors, male or female, working today.
Not to be left out, the young Faith Wladyka plays Cindy and Dean’s daughter with a joyful grace that is initially endearing and later heartbreaking.
Here are the top five, though there are infinite, reasons you should see Blue Valentine, opening Dec. 29!
- The remarkable contrast between the young love of Cindy and Dean and their ultimately tortured marriage is never once overwrought or anything other than entirely believable.
- Ryan Gosling lays his claim to being this generation’s Brando with his completely absorbing performance.
- For anyone who has ever been in a relationship, one scene between Cindy and Dean having an argument in their car is so painstakingly real you will want to cover your eyes.
- Because the initially NC-17 film was rightfully challenged and changed to an R.
- Michelle Williams has at this point established herself as one of the greatest actors of her generation, and, alongside Sarah Polley, there is no other actor who can deliver such remarkably explosive and yet controlled performances so consistently.