XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => The Vault => Topic started by: MacGuffin on December 09, 2010, 10:36:29 AM

Title: Blue Valentine
Post by: MacGuffin on December 09, 2010, 10:36:29 AM
(http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/blue-valentine-poster.jpg)


Trailer here. (http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809945752/video/22346938)

Release Date: December 31st, 2010 (limited)
 
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman, Mike Vogel, Maryann Plunkett
 
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance 

Premise: The story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: children with angels on December 09, 2010, 11:24:48 AM
Now that is exactly what I want from trailers: a sense of mood, theme and tone with as few narrative specifics as possible. Yet it also manages to give you an extended portion of a single scene too, providing you with an idea of direction and performance styles without it seeming arbitrary. So I now know that I want to see this film, whilst still knowing very little concrete about it - mission accomplished.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: RegularKarate on December 09, 2010, 01:12:58 PM
Someone loves The Jerk.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: matt35mm on December 09, 2010, 10:34:41 PM
It got the R-rating yesterday, which is great news.  It had been initially rated NC-17 for no good reason.

The film is pretty darned good, but I wished that it had been longer.  Probably because it reminded me of Scenes from a Marriage, which works brilliantly at 5 or so hours.  This film also features the most effective use of a non-linear structure that I've seen in a while.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: modage on December 15, 2010, 08:06:15 PM
from my blog (http://modage.tumblr.com/post/2330947109/blue-valentine):

The last film from my Sundance picks to be released this year, Blue Valentine is also one of the year’s best.  The film stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple at the beginning and end of their relationship.  There are two timelines in the film, 6 years apart, and the film cuts back and forth between these moments creating a heartbreaking contrast between the two.  At a certain point I found myself really loving the movie and then as the film passed the halfway mark it grew darker and made me wish I could just see the half where they’re falling in love.  Even though I know that the contrast is what makes the film work.

My main nitpicks with the film are the scenes 6 years later, which are almost too bleak.  Gosling’s physical appearance, (heavier and balding) is a bit extreme considering it’s only 6 years later, not 15.  Despite the director spending over a decade with the script, the film is 50% improvised because he wanted to capture these “real” moments.  And Blue Valentine is full of them, along with two great performances and a soundtrack by Grizzly Bear.  It’s a film for romantics, even those that have been through the worst.  Watch the trailer if you haven’t already.

Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: modage on January 03, 2011, 01:59:02 PM
9. blue valentine
ryan gosling and michelle williams are, indeed, incredible.  it's a bit too purple at times and despite the quality of the performances, the dialogue can feel overwritten, but it's very resonant and very wrenching.

It's funny you say the dialogue can seem overwritten because the writer/director rewrote the script for a decade but essentially let the actors throw it out every day at work so it could feel fresh.  I noticed something not sitting quite right during some scenes as well but I just felt like I could FEEL the improvising going on and Gosling was clearly more dominant than Williams.  Granted this could be chalked up to being their characters but I was occasionally momentarily taken out of the movie.  I still liked it a lot though.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: samsong on January 04, 2011, 05:49:58 AM
yea i've had a lot of people come back at my overwritten claim with the fact that the film was largely improvised.  that's pretty obvious, but all that matters is what's on screen and i can't think of a device i wasn't completely aware of throughout the whole thing.  like you said there are moments where something feels off kilter, be it awkward wording or that the arc of the scene is so blatant from the beginning that watching it play out feels redundant.  i guess i should also add to my claim in that more than the dialogue, the plotting of the film is pretty deliberate in a way that works against the rawness of the improvisation and stuck out to me as being very "written" in a negative way.  i'm nitpicking here, mostly because i went into it with friends telling me it was the best film of the year etc. and i didn't think it was quite that... which isn't to say i was being especially critical to be contrary.  anyway, it is really good.  i liked it a lot as well.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: I Love a Magician on January 15, 2011, 01:53:19 AM
(probably spoilers even though it's a hard movie to spoil)

strange movie because while every scene is great and all the acting is top notch, it's still kind of slight and more of a sketch than anything. we're only shown the first ~6-7 months and last 2-3 days of the relationship. assuming the film covers six years, why aren't we shown anything that happens during the middle 90% of their marriage?

i guess i can argue against myself by saying that the characters are obviously more infatuated with each other rather than really in love. the beginning of their relationship is cute with gosling putting on the charm to get williams and all, but they're never shown to have much common interest other than wanting to fuck so it was doomed to begin with since they never should've had more than a 6-7 month relationship in the fist place. the interaction that i'm remembering most is between gosling and his coworker when gosling's talking about love at first sight, "ya know, i saw this girl and it was like i knew her. i don't know her, but it feels like i do," and the coworker replies, "but you don't." and he never gets to know her, even after being married to her for 6 years.

probably sounds like i'm shitting on the movie but there's definitely more to it that i liked than i didn't. gosling's character is drawn perfectly in its self-obsession and self-satisfaction. williams makes something heartbreaking out of an underdeveloped character. the scenes from the beginning of the relationship are touching and you root for them while the scenes of their last couple days are spot on in their portrayal of a couple at their breaking point, capturing that feeling of "i love you but i can't fucking stand you" perfectly.

so: what's there is great, i just wish there was (a lot) more of it.

---

i'd like to know what people who aren't fans of grizzly bear think of the score. i love them so it was sort of distracting hearing all these songs i like playing over scenes. wish they'd written some original material for the movie.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: OrHowILearnedTo on January 17, 2011, 07:40:34 PM
Just going to do some rambling about this movie. Spoilers Below.


Such a bitter, miserable film. My main problem is i feel it's not asking us to consider our own past/current relationships/experiences, but rather to just project our own heartbreaks into the blanks. I felt cheated and used after this film. It shows the honeymoon stage, the lovey-dovey, cute moments we can all relate to, and contrasts them with these hateful, cynical scenes of a dying relationship. But why? Why are these people like that? That's what I'm interested in, that's what I wished this (and more) films explored, especially with the type of brutal realism that Blue Valentine strains for. The tagline for this is "A Love Story." What a mean joke. Derek Cianfrance probably got out of a shitty relationship and wanted to express his dissatisfaction with "love." I don't think he's shedding any light on the subject, just trying to remind us of heartbreak. Or maybe he's actualy never been in love, because a lot of the highly emotional scenes feel somewhat artificial. Especially from Ryan Gosling. If most of the movie is indeed improvised then he was drawing less from personal experience and more from tragic romantics in books and movies. Sometimes it felt like he was his character from the Notebook. You know how Wes Anderson draws a lot of his dramatic points from french new wave films? Blue Valentine was like if Wes Anderson grew up watching only Cassavetes. This is a just a melodrama done by an Indie Kid.

There is a lot of good in this movie though. Michelle Williams is the best actress on the planet. Grizzly Bear was a masterstroke (especially "I Live With You" ...so perfect) and it is quite beautifully shot.

Also, the funniest thing in an movie all year was Cindy's flashback dinner table scene with her dad.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Reelist on January 17, 2011, 09:08:25 PM
fuck this movie and anybody who likes it.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: RegularKarate on January 24, 2011, 02:55:15 PM
I agree with most that's been said here.  I think that this movie was saved by acting.
I don't mean I think the director is worthless.  He clearly knows how to get a performance and convey emotion, but I think the story is cheap.

Just like IheartMagic was saying, It skips the important stuff.  It cheats by just showing the falling in love and the falling apart.  It jumps from the wine to the dessert.  Boo to that.

I think I felt extra cheated because I got divorced last year and felt a connection to the film from the beginning and was really hoping I would get more from it.  Instead it felt like I was just being reminded "it sucks to break up, don't you wish it was like the good old days again?".

It had promise.  I hate that.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Stefen on February 22, 2011, 09:10:03 PM
This movie is really good. It's a shame it isn't getting more love. It certainly deserves it. I really liked the way the story was told. I'm perfectly fine with it only telling the beginning and the end of their relationship. That's the best part and what sets the film apart from other movies of this genre. The courtship and the fallout is what makes it great. You put the middle in and it's just like every other movie. Plus if you start telling the middle you probably have to tell the story in chronological order otherwise it would be a complete mess most likely.

It's a shame Gosling didn't get a nomination. He deserved one for sure. Especially his hairline. It stole the show.

Spoilers.
Is it just me or did Dean kind of get played for a chump? Cindy is kind of promiscuous and gets knocked up by some douchebag, but Dean says he will help her raise this other guys kid. That's pretty noble of him, but in the end he's the only one trying to save the marriage. He takes her to that hotel with the future room and while you could say that was sleazy, you can't deny his intentions were good. To me she just seemed to take, take, take and never give much back. Deans only fault seemed to be that he was hot-tempered. I hated how, years later, she runs into the guy who got her pregnant and beat up Dean and then tells Dean she ran into him. Why tell him? You keep that to yourself. Nothing good can come out of that. NOTHING. And while you're on your way to a "romantic getaway" no less. Yeah, I was on Dean's side the whole time. Don't know if that's the way it was supposed to be, but that's where I stood.

Anyways, some of the scenes in it were really great. The scene from the trailer where Dean is playing the small guitar and Cindy is dancing and the one where he's threatening to jump off the bridge if she doesn't tell him what's bothering her. The abortion scene too was really touching. As much as a scene like that can be.

Overall it was just a solid, solid movie with some really stellar acting. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Reelist on February 22, 2011, 09:13:18 PM
^^ I'm glad I read the spoilers, now I really don't wanna see it. Last American Virgin is much better.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 22, 2011, 10:55:07 PM
Stop posting, Reelist, this was a lot better than I expected it to be.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Sleepless on February 23, 2011, 11:15:12 AM
I went from interested in this, to not very, but now I really want to see it. Thanks Stefen.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 09, 2011, 10:22:16 AM
This is a tough film to watch. I don't see how people can really love this film. I don't think its a film that I can watch over and over again but its a bold one that can be admired... Amazing breathtaking performances though...
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Pas on May 21, 2011, 08:49:02 AM
Wow definitely a top film of last year. Amazing performances. Reminded me a bit of my relationship we've gone through a lot of that shit and now we're 7 years in and it's good but it was rocky.

Anyway good film.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Gold Trumpet on May 21, 2011, 09:24:00 AM
I tried watching this late on a work night. Got an hour in before I drifted off into sleep, but I was already bored with it. As a film that was trying to pride itself on realism, the film was banking on too much easy and dumb foreshadowing and simple editing transition tricks. Instead of watch the film, all I did is watch the easy predictability of the filmmaking mechanisms. Does the rest of the film warrant my watching? Absolutely, but when I woke up and guessed to my friends what happened and was told I was correct, the thought of watching the rest immediately felt like a duller proposition.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: children with angels on May 21, 2011, 10:03:37 AM
There are some potential criticisms of the film that I think are valid, but predictability seems like a strange one. I don't feel like we're ever supposed to be in any doubt about how the plot and structure of the film is going to pan out - in fact, a big part of the power of the movie, I thought, is the painful inevitability with which it progresses: one strand of them coming together being intercut with another strand showing them being torn apart. It's a very simple, but (for me) extremely poignant, collision of the narratives of romantic comedy and romantic melodrama - one being concerned with building towards the 'happy ending', the other showing what follows that 'ending'.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Pas on May 21, 2011, 10:42:35 AM
Instead of watch the film, all I did is watch the easy predictability of the filmmaking mechanisms.

If I ever become this cynical, kick me in the face.

Sometimes I don't get how some of you guys watch movies... like the heart doesn't matter. Some are all in the head, I'm all in the heart (and the cock)
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Gold Trumpet on May 21, 2011, 11:06:09 AM
There are some potential criticisms of the film that I think are valid, but predictability seems like a strange one. I don't feel like we're ever supposed to be in any doubt about how the plot and structure of the film is going to pan out - in fact, a big part of the power of the movie, I thought, is the painful inevitability with which it progresses: one strand of them coming together being intercut with another strand showing them being torn apart. It's a very simple, but (for me) extremely poignant, collision of the narratives of romantic comedy and romantic melodrama - one being concerned with building towards the 'happy ending', the other showing what follows that 'ending'.

Well, what it did for my viewing is that it stunted how involved I got with the story. I don't go into movies wanting to wear any hat with how I watch it. It just happens. You may point to an inevitability factor in the story, fine, but the movie does ask you to just immerse yourself in the everyday realism of the story at the beginning. I never saw a good tone or structure which wasn't making me think of unnecessary ploys it was using to foreshadow much much later into the film. For me, it's all about development. The ploys did not help develop any different strands in the story and an hour into the film, it all became too repetitive already. It's about creating realism and it didn't work here. 

Pas, don't take my words personally. It happens that people shrug their shoulders at a movie. It also happens that another person loves that movie and wishes you weren't being so "cynical".
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Pozer on May 21, 2011, 12:31:39 PM
I tried watching this late on a work night. Got an hour in before I drifted off into sleep, but I was already bored with it. As a film that was trying to pride itself on realism, the film was banking on too much easy and dumb foreshadowing and simple editing transition tricks. Instead of watch the film, all I did is watch the easy predictability of the filmmaking mechanisms. Does the rest of the film warrant my watching? Absolutely, but when I woke up and guessed to my friends what happened and was told I was correct, the thought of watching the rest immediately felt like a duller proposition.

GT's friends' reply: Christ, GT. Yes you called it. Now pour your coffee and piss off to your slug picking gig at the pickle factory.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: Ravi on October 13, 2011, 02:38:09 PM
I was hoping the flashback scenes would progress beyond the VERY beginning of the relationship and into showing the breakdown process, but it never did. Yeah, I get it, Dean is an ambitionless alcoholic wasting his talents. Let's see where Cindy started falling out of love with him. There were some great moments that illustrated their relationship, such as in the hotel when Dean is trying to make love to Cindy and she doesn't reciprocate, but she doesn't turn him away either. But overall the film was a Cliffs Notes version of the relationship. Sure, we get all the story beats, but nothing that makes the story engaging or moving. I thought 500 Days of Summer did a much better job of showing that middle part, which is where the most interesting stuff is.
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: 72teeth on October 22, 2011, 07:17:50 PM
I love this film, and i think it's one i'll return to often in me loyf, but it'll always be a melancholy watch...
it kinda broke up a relationship before we ever had a chance to break it up ourselves. it was just too similar to us, the little things (her being a nurse) and the big things (*dookdookdook) it was like watching a projection of things to come and we both couldn't deny it. It fought all the fights we'd have before we ever had a chance to fight them, and it cut to the conclusions we were both didn't want to own up to, and it revealed hidden agendas in both of us. We left that theatre with my arm wrapped around her, hip to hip, but there was something definitely between us after that... I want to thank you, Blue Valentine, for stopping us before we got there, but it was also none of your goddamn business. See you when i'm down
Title: Re: Blue Valentine
Post by: KJ on September 25, 2017, 11:12:05 PM
It's funny how this felt way more depressing when I was in a relationship, now I just thought "yeah, love sucks, tell me something that I didn't knew already!" Some amazing scenes that felt very human and real, tho. And it's always nice to see a film with characters this flawed. Especially Ryan Goslings character, which I hated but probably because he reminded me to much about myself. I could also relate to how fucking mean they treated each other as if it was totally normal. Me and my ex girlfriend also normalized that kind of
behavior more and more until it got out of hand towards the end of our relationship.

So it's very relatable which is a great achievement itself, but it wasn't one of the greatest film of all time as I  thought before.