Archive for December 30th, 2010

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in masterful "Blue Valentine"

by Sam Juliano

    A dark boat through the gloom—
and whither? The thunder roars But still we have each other!
The naked lightnings in the heavens dither

And disappear—
what have we but each other?
The boat has gone.

                                                                     -D.H. Lawrence

     After an opening night screening of his brilliant new film at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan director Derek Cianfrance confirmed that Blue Valentine was “in preparation for no less than twelve years” and that he always felt he was “born to make the film.”  The achingly realistic observational “day in the life” styled film may indeed have been a long time in planning mode, but you’d never know it from it’s seemingly improvisational execution, nor in its dearth of events that could be characterized as anything out of the ordinary.  There’s more than a hint of Cassavettes here, and the raw and naturistic urgency of the work validates the cinematic use of a magnifying glass to document marriage fallout by way of an aching idiosyncratic portrait.  Rarely has movie intimacy achieved such harrowing results.  And even rarer still is the remarkable navigation of a narrative balancing act by Cianfrance that has the viewer wondering well after the screen turns black who is really the blame for the painful deterioration of such a supreme example of unconditional love. (more…)

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