Best Movies of All Time + [Ryan Gosling]

BLUE VALENTINE

BLUE VALENTINE

You can watch the trailer here

(This'll probably be short, so forgive me.)

Well, one of the most talked about films of the last few weeks has finally hit select theaters, and of course you knew that yours truly would be making his way to see it. Blue Valentine, which has made recent headlines after its successful appeal to downgrade its original NC-17 rating, is an emotional ride that may not be for everybody.

The film, which was directed by Derek Cianfrance, opens on Dean (Ryan Gosling) and his daughter as they try to find their dog who has escaped from his cage. After searching without success, they return inside and wake their wife and mother, Cindy (Michelle Williams) then start their day. There's palpable tension between Dean and Cindy, but it was easy to shrug off for the moment. Everything spirals from that point. The film continues by going back and forth between the present and flashbacks from when Dean and Cindy met, courted and wed. There's a fantastic juxtaposition between the happiness of the early years and the sadness and anger that accompanies their lives at present. I'd go into more detail about the plot, but there's really not much of a plot to begin with. This is a purely character-driven piece.

Gosling and Williams are absolutely brilliant in their respective roles, conveying characters that are so unique and interesting and utterly believable that we just fall into their relationship and go along for this emotional roller coaster, not knowing exactly where we're headed. The two bring such life to a struggling marriage, and you'd probably be hard pressed to find a married couple who isn't going to respond to the situations on-screen. It feels that life-like and real, and it's mostly because of the performances provided by our leads. They're both definitely deserving of their Golden Globe nominations. In fact, the two are so good that they've added a bit of a dilemma for my own personal awards. Until this morning, I figured my best actor race would come down to James Franco in 127 Hours and Colin Firth in The King's Speech, but Gosling has thrown himself into that illustrious shortlist. The same goes for Williams, who has inserted herself into a battle with the dual leads of The Kids Are All Right and Black Swan's Natalie Portman. Things could get very interesting around here in the next couple of weeks...

To be honest, Blue Valentine should never have received an NC-17 rating, but the fact is that it did and it was overturned. Thank goodness. Now more people can actually see it.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #131
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Addition to Awards
2010: 2 nominations