Review: Blue Valentine (15)

This Is Lancashire: Review: Blue Valentine (15) Review: Blue Valentine (15)

Derek Cianfrance’s slow-burning portrait of a marriage in crisis is distinguished by tour-de-force performances from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as the husband and wife in emotional freefall.

The writer-director employs a fractured chronology to piece together the romance of removal man Dean (Gosling) and nurse Cindy (Williams), whose paths cross at the retirement home where her grandmother is mellowing in old age.

A passionate and fiery romance leads to marriage but the giddiness of those early months together is replaced by weariness as the relationship settles into routine.

Blue Valentine cuts to the bone, dissecting Dean and Cindy’s marital woes with unflinching candour and a meticulous eye for detail.

Gosling and Williams invest themselves wholeheartedly in their bickering spouses, unafraid to plumb the depths of their characters’ mounting despair.

Love really hurts.

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