Had heard great things about this and with a certain Mr. Gosling in it was hard not to give it a watch.
The story is of a young couple’s journey. It spans across from their early days of meeting to years down the line in more uncertain times, flicking between various days from their past and staying with the one day in the present. This “time travel” juxtaposition is captured beautifully by the use of a super 16mm film camera during the youthful days and then a RED one digital camera during the present day shots. This is pretty brave I have to say but it works really well with the textures being so different in the two stages of their lives.
As per usual in all my reviews I have to point out that the film a mere £1million helped by the director Derek Cianfrance not getting paid for the film and instead paying the taxes on what he should have got paid just to be able to make Blue Valentine.
On to the film, beautifully shot with so really powerful and emotional scenes that you would expect from any romantic drama. It has a lot of your typical cliche’s but it looks great doing them so you can accept them. My only quarrel with it during watching was understanding what the problems where in the relationship. I struggled to grasp what was wrong but I feel there are a number of hints of Cindy(Michelle Williams) not being happy through out. I was expecting to see something big, for the two stages in their lives to
meet and us to go ahhh thats why she is so unhappy. We also have a number of other small subplots that really leaves the viewer confused as to what may be going on. I think it is very much left open ended on all front right down to the ending. This gives each viewer a chance to, depending on their out look on life, to decide how it all finishes up and what actually went wrong or right. As Dave Sexton put it “Did it have to be such a downer?”
Another aspect of Blue Valentine that drew me in was the score done by one of my favorite bands Grizzly Bear. What an amazing soundtrack, taking a lot from their Veckatimest album they bring a strong emotion to the already intense scenes. I think that similar to the Tron sound track I could watch this film with my eyes closed and still enjoy it. Overall its a solid 4/5 from me, yeah there a few dogey scenes but nothing a quick eyes right cant fix.
Here is a free mp3 download of Cheerleader from Grizzly Bears 2009 Veckatimest album, give her a listen.