A husband (Ryan Gosling) and wife (Michelle Williams) are powerless to stop the downward spiral that is destroying their marriage.
" "Blue Valentine" has a palpable air of claustrophobic danger; you constantly expect something terrible to be happening to these characters. And, indeed, something does. "
" An almost unbearably bittersweet love story starring two of today's best actors and orchestrated by a director who's attuned to past masters. "
" Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling tear up the screen. "
" Flashes of brilliance, but the lead performances were mannered and the script overwritten. Too self-consciously indie-hipster. "
" An autopsy of a failed marriage, it contrasts the giddy honeymoon beginning with the sad denouement after dysfunction has devastated the groundwork of hope and newness. "
" The best of it plays like an acting exercise that serves the intimate, often bruising relationship at the core. Gosling seems to be pulling from an impressive bag of performance tricks, Williams from a deeper well, drawn from life. "
" What do we expect of a spouse? "Blue Valentine" makes us ask that question. "
" Blue Valentine has a rare emotional intensity. There is no way to prepare for its final frames, inevitable as they are. "
" The performances are as raw as the characters. "
" You are witnessing the implosion of a marriage, and it's a sad, discomfiting thing to behold. "
" Bright-eyed youth and bedraggled adulthood alternate in a sad spectacle beautifully and sensitively portrayed. "
" As the film, which Derek Cianfrance directed and co-wrote, makes its way to the end of its second hour, it becomes an acutely stylized, slow-motion marital accident. You either want to call AAA or roll your eyes. "
" The film proceeds in what feels like real time, but with no obvious beginning or end. It's a latticework of moments happy and sad. "
" The film's time structure is splintered into shards of past and present, which is probably just as well -- a strictly narrative chronology would make this wallow seem even sloggier. "
" It's not an easy movie, but it is a powerful, unforgettable experience. "
" A searing portrait of the disintegration of not just a marriage but, more importantly, the love that once fueled it. "
" Blue Valentine comes on like a bittersweet cautionary tale. "
" Almost unbearably harrowing but also deeply cathartic, as viewers create their own meanings within Dean and Cindy's singular downward spiral. "
" Derek Cianfrance, the film's writer and director, observes with great exactitude the birth and decay of a relationship. This film is alive in its details. "
" This is a marvel of a movie, but in the interest of perpetuating the human race, I'd counsel dewy young couples embarking on life's journey to check into a sex motel instead. "
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