Two daring performances make Blue Valentine a standout, even if the film’s reach somewhat exceeds its grasp. Director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance attempts to explore the beginning and end of an intimate relationship, hopscotching back and forth in time from the couple’s first meeting and subsequent wooing through the utter disintegration of their marriage.
The film was shot with a six-week break in order to allow Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams to gain weight and subtly alter their appearance to indicate the passage of five years’ time. It takes some getting used to, but it’s a fascinating conceit. Without question, it’s the actors’ commitment to this material that makes—
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