Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
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Whether one thinks Blue Valentine is a sincere meditation on the fragility of relationships or an actors’ showcase for Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, there’s no doubt it works: juxtaposing the (possible) end of a marriage with halcyon scenes of its beginnings, director Derek Cianfrance understands how to hit a nerve.
There are flaws (like an overplayed blowout argument in a hospital and an obtrusive score by indie heroes Grizzly Bear) but the sheer power of the performances carries the day.