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BLUE VALENTINE

Director: DEREK CIANFRANCE

120 minutes| U.S.A.| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema


Utterly compelling performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling give writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s portrait of a curdling marriage heart-rending emotional veracity. Drawing on his own painful childhood memories of his parents’ break-up, Cianfrance assembles an intimately persuasive account of how people fall in love, hit the rocks, but somehow never fall out of love. That much is evident from Williams’ award-worthy work as a hard-pressed nurse who’s smitten by removals worker Gosling’s gentle side but later becomes disillusioned with his apparent lack of ambition, while he in turn aspires to nothing more than being a husband and father – and gets frustrated with her demands. Like Pinter and François Ozon before him, Cianfrance flips the timeframe so we see the couple’s past and present in telling contrast, presenting the first glimmers of youthful affection alongside the grinding realities of everyday married life. This affecting drama is evidently the product of much thought from filmmaker and cast alike. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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