Film Critic: Blue Valentine

Still from Blue Valentine
Still from Blue Valentine

By Nia Rutledge

Alright, so Valentine’s Day is coming up. And this year, I’m going to get into the mood by watching a bunch of alternative, anti-love story movies. I’m started off by watching the film Blue Valentine (2010). The film was directed by Derek Cianfrance, who directed The Place Beyond The Pines (2012). In Blue Valentine, the main characters are played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.


Blue Valentine has been on my Netflix for a bit. I had been seeing screenshots and gifs of the movie a lot online recently, so I took that as a sign that I should get around to watching it. Plus, I like Ryan Gosling’s movies and his characters most of the time, so I was ready to finally watch it.


Blue Valentine is one of those “falling out of love”, pain, and rawness sort of drama-romance movies. A lot of the confrontations that Gosling and Williams’ characters go through seem to be realistic to the struggles that real, long term couples face when going through a rocky patch. Many of the situations may be triggering for some, particularly if your parents fight a lot. Some of the character’s relationship issues may resemble things that you have heard or seen your parents do.


Even if you can’t relate to the pain in this movie in such a way, the characters seem so realistic and raw that you might feel a couple of your heart strings being plucked while watching the movie. It’s so easy to feel sorry for the character’s breaking relationship, because of the emotional scenes and constant clashing and desperation to make it work and it just isn’t working out.


One of the things that I like the most about the movie, and that really hit me hard was the flashback scenes. The movie shows you, rather frequently, scenes of the beginning of the relationship and how happy the two were together, and everything would be bright and lovely and cutesy. Only then would you go back to reality and see the distance, unlovingness of the relationship currently. That really struck me. (I didn’t cry though!)


The cinematography in Blue Valentine wasn’t anything fancy or unexpected. I’d say that it is pretty standard, there were a few cool shots in it from light play, but other than that, it was basic.


As far as the plot goes, if you want an extremely gripping, seat clenching storyline, Blue Valentine isn’t the right fit for you. I got bored at some points during the movie. However, the plot seems realistic, as far as I know, about married couple relationships. There are things that happen that are impactful in the storyline, but it doesn’t go overboard into an unrealistic situation. Everything that happens in the movie are things that have and could happen to real couples and I think that’s what makes the film so relatable.


I really enjoyed the acting for Gosling and Williams. I think they did a good job portraying little emotions and tension by putting the right emphasis on the right words matched with slight facial expressions. It was really easy to catch what emotions they were trying to portray. Since the film is emotionally-based, they did a good job with making sure that the audience could easily follow along without being unnatural and over exaggerating.


I’d say that although Blue Valentine is a relatively good movie, however it is not a must-see film. I enjoyed it while i watched it, but I probably won’t watch it again. This is not your lovey dovey romance flick, this is one that’s going to be a bit depressing.


Overall rating: 6.7/10