REVIEW: Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

Patty Griffin's eulogistic single "Long Ride Home" enters thought with the lyric, "Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed; Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said." This film is an exploration of ambiguities that drive us apart - over-comfort and unfounded paranoia surfacing without finite reason in long-term relationships. As such, could it conversely be encouragement for we lovers to avoid taking one another for granted? Griffin's lyric continues, lamenting all too late, "How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?"

What defines us as individual human beings? Ain't that an eternal conundrum. Can the answer fit in a room? Can it be framed for display on your nursing home wall? Certain philosophers might remove pure individuality and place this intangible definition in the hands of the observer. Is it then our job to select the most preferable observer?

These lives... these unexpected lives we didn't ask for... are they lives we deserve? If they persist, do we grow up... or just get older? For better or for worse, the pestilential "Blue Valentine" raises these questions. From there, it is up to us.


  1. Riveting and raw, it's a little like sitting at a dinner table while a pair of your married friends who were never really a good fit for each other fight in the kitchen. Good review, check out mine when you can!

  2. Thanks! I checked out your write-up - you hit the nail on the head with your assessment of the storytelling - it's done through the natural ebb and flow of liberated performance. I would be interested in reading the script to see how much of what's in the movie was actually written. Apparently Gosling and Williams had years to familiarize themselves with their parts, so who knows. I wonder the same to a greater extent about Cassavetes' work, which is as close to pure acting as I've seen (to put it simply).

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