The story is told in flashbacks from the semi-happier beginnings down the path toward The End. Couple Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) are strained in their interactions. She barely looks at him; he keeps trying to get something going. She rejects him. They don’t connect. Dean’s goal is to be with Cindy and their child. Cindy wants him to do something with his life.
There are intense close-ups of grief, loneliness and pain. There’s explicit sex. Most scenes are tense and uncomfortable, but the acting is stellar. How did Williams and Gosling get through this without falling apart emotionally? The only ray of light wasn’t part of the movie. No, it was the guy doing yoga in the theater hallway entrance. From my left peripheral, I saw movement of his pointed hand changing as he shifted positions; a man wearing a flannel doing yoga as he watched Blue Valentine. It made me chuckle when I would have otherwise cried.
There are missing pieces, such as what happened to Dean’s moving job? A key moment where things must have gone amok but they were already on the dark track to emotional despair.
So much alienation.
Co-Writer/Director: Derek Cianfrance
Run time: 118 minutes