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Blue Valentine

Whoops. Just now realized that I still hadnt done this write up. My bad.

As much as I despise the Common, the location is so damn convenient. Once again I had two choices for viewing this film: the Kendall or the Common. But the common was earlier and closer to home. Guess as much as I dislike it, I can put up with some of the annoyances for those other points, specially when Im not going at a peak time.

Crap. Once again getting distracted by Sesame Street videos. I swear, Im six years old. Hmm, maybe then Blue Valentine was above my maturity level.

Unless you're as tuned into the indie movie/festival darling/Oscar hopeful scene as I am, you're prolly scratching your head at this one. But its been getting quite a bit of talk on that circuit since Sundance I think. Its a romantic film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, following them simultaneously thru the start and end of their relationship and marriage. The reason for the buzz is the top notch acting. So far the two have earned Golden Glob nods, and Academy Award ones aren't that much of a stretch.

I think Im inclined to agree with them. Although its not entirely a I-was-blown-away-by-this-performance sorta thing. It was a combination of that-was-a-really-good-performance and I-really-\m/-love-this-person both for Gosling and Williams. While most of Gosling's fangirls have been following him since The Notebook in '04 (which I have yet to see) I've been cruashing on this MMC alum since Murder By Numbers two years before that. Personal opinion, Id say his best is Lars and the Real Girl, which he was oh so close to getting an Oscar nomination for. He did get the Globe nod for that and an Oscar one the year before for Half Nelson. While he wouldnt stand a chance of winning against Colin Firth, it'd be nice to at least see him on the list again. I know, I haven't even said one damn word about his actual performance. I loved it. What is it with these sweet but damaged types Ive been falling in love with on the screen this weekend (thinkin about Country Strong's Beau). I loved the tenderness he had, with his playful charm, but intensity and passion on the other side of the coin. I really did believe that his girl was everything to him, and I could see it in everything he did. Doesnt take much for me to imagine what it was about The Notebook that got him such a following.

Ms Michelle Williams is all growed up from her days on the creek. Dawson's Creek that is, of course. She too had such fire and raw emotion in the role, especially in the scenes that were later in the chronology. Really, it was almost like she was two different people between the early scenes and the later ones. I dont mean that it was disconnected or disjointed in any way, because it certainly wasnt. I just mean that there was such an apparent change in her, executed brilliantly.

Key fact I havent mentioned: the film plays out of sequence. Scenes from the end of the relationship are mixed in with the ones from the beginning. For the most part, the two halves go in order, they just flip flop back and forth. There was some wonderful movie magic that resulted from that. I wish I could go into more detail here, but the most poignant of these pairings was at the end so I wouldnt wanna spoil.

While I liked the concept of showing the beginning and the end, I feel like omitting the middle left me with a lot of unanswered questions. Im still not really sure what quite drove them apart. Things were hinted at, but I feel that when we meet up with the couple they're already past the breaking point, and are just holding on for the last little bit that they can. Its one of those things where you dont quite notice something's missing until leaving the theater and thinking about it. But it did bother me the whole rest of the day.

Also worth mentioning, this film was getting a lot of attention this past fall because the MPAA originally gave it an NC-17 rating. It took quite a bit of appeals to knock it down to R. I can kinda see where they're coming from. There were a few scenes that got rather racy. And then a whole other scene (I wont spoil) that just had me thinking "this scene is happening right now? they're not just gonna talk about it later?!". Cryptic, I know. Dont wanna lessen the impact if you ever do decide to see it.

I guess thats about it for this one. If anything I've talked about intrigues you, its worth checking out.

Blue Valentine - \m/ \m/ \m/
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