Blue Valentine

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(US / 2009 / dir by Derek Cianfrance)
R / 113 mins.
The emotionally arresting Blue Valentine contrasts two tragically opposite narratives: a tender love story between two young adults juxtaposed with their bitter fallout as a disillusioned husband and wife.
A working-class couple whose relationship has seen better days, Cindy (Williams) has always had aspirations of obtaining more meaningful work, and Dean (Gosling) remains content with a blue-collar lifestyle that allows him to drink on the job and spend time with his family. In a last ditch effort to rekindle their passions, the two book a room in a sordid hotel; however, their retreat is quickly spoiled by a nasty argument. As signs of irreparable damage begin to surface, the film juggles multiple chronologies to produce a brutally honest and remarkably bittersweet portrait of a tumultuous relationship. Two of the most gifted actors working today, Gosling and Williams are extraordinary in their physical and psychological portrayals of their respective characters at different ages, and their performances elevate the drama to groundbreaking new heights.
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