Writer/director Derek Cianfranceâ€™s dark love story staring Academy Award Nominees Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling began receiving Oscar buzz from the very first screenings, only to come out with one measly nomination â€“ Williams for Actress in a Leading Role.Â While this Oscar nod is well-deserved, I believe the film was overlooked in the categories of Actor in a Leading Role and possibly even Best Picture.Â A true work of cinematic art, Blue Valentine radiates with the beauty that comes from all parties involved pouring their passion into a project.
The raw tale is told over the course of a few short days, mixed with flashbacks of Dean (Gosling) and Cindyâ€™s (Williams) deeply emotional, yet at times adorably lighthearted, past as their relationship shines and struggles through budding romance, marriage, children, and the hardships of everyday life.
Goslingâ€™s Dean is lovable and laughable â€“ a genuine, compassionate fellow teetering on the edge of addiction.Â He fights to save what was once a seemingly perfect relationship, frustratingly unable to repair years of slipping apart.Â Outwardly annoyed by Deanâ€™s efforts and behavior, Cindy focuses her attention on a frozen career in nursing and her adorable daughter Frankie (Faith Wladyka). Â Â Despite the heavy weight of discord, the two share sporadic glimpses of happiness â€“ tiny snapshots to remind us why they fell in love in the first place.
As secrets are revealed through flashback, the acting performances only get better, layering years of memories on top of current conflicts until viewers canâ€™t help but feel angry, happy, confused, and sad all at once.Â Â Most of all, Blue Valentine is authentic – a true portrait of a typical relationship, complete with the lows and highs and every string of hope in between.