Movie You Should Watch: ‘Blue Valentine’

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in a pivotal scene in 'Blue Valentine.'

***WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD***

Omigod.

That’s the reaction I expected to have after watching the critically acclaimed, Blue Valentine—and sure enough, my expectations were met.

You have to watch it! It’s about a married couple’s disintegrating relationship. Not a selling point? Well, the film goes back and forth between how it got that way and how they came together. It’s a love story, really.

More after the jump…

Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) racked up countless nominations for their roles. The real travesty is the movie wasn’t a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. I haven’t seen every 2011 nominated film, but I know that the Winter’s Bone slot could have easily gone to Blue Valentine. I would even say that Inception is unworthy compared to this indie piece.

It’s easy to see why Williams received an Oscar nod for this, especially during the first half of the movie. In this TIME magazine interview, she revealed that her method behind this role was a poem, Little Sleep’s-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight by Galway Kinnell. Here’s an excerpt:

You scream, waking from a nightmare.

When I sleepwalk
into your room, and pick you up,
and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to me
hard,
as if clinging could save us. I think
you think
I will never die, I think I exude
to you the permanence of smoke or stars,
even as
my broken arms heal themselves around you.

Then, Williams started annoying for me in the latter parts and I sympathized more with Gosling. It was very much like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. I got annoyed with her very fast because I couldn’t see anything wrong with her husband or her marriage. She was just overreacting the whole time so I feel like the writers could have done more on that end.

But, it just occurred to me as I write this that maybe, they wanted the guy to be the good guy here. Most of the time, they’re presented as the one at fault in Hollywood so this was kind of a switch. What Gosling does for her in the movie is unbelievable and believable at the same. Believable because it could totally happen in real life; it’s grounded in reality. Unbelievable in the sense that you’re just in awe of his actions.

During awards season, controversy surrounded the film’s NC-17 rating due to the sex scene between Gosling and Williams. (It was later lowered to an R rating, and I must say, I found the sex scene between Williams and another guy in the movie more graphic than that.)

Also, the music suited the film. There’s basically two main songs: one that’s the couple’s song in the movie (You and Me by Penny the Quarters, which I’m downloading) and the other, Gosling sings (You Always Hurt the One You Love by the Mills Brothers). Listen to him being his adorable self on Jimmy Kimmel:

I hope you get to watch Blue Valentine from start to finish because even the credits at the end are presented beautifully, like nothing I’ve seen before. And with that, I leave you with this very funny interview, where Gosling is on Ellen:

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