Blue Valentine

Genre: Drama/Romance
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling

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.

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