Cannes: 'Blue Valentine' slays the Riviera

Image credit: Davi Russo

I’ve just come out of a screening of Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, and I am now completely gutted. I had heard from colleagues who saw it at Sundance that it was intense, but nothing really could have prepared me for this utterly devastating, completely believable marriage drama. It’s been a while since I saw an on-screen couple as convincing as Gosling and Williams, and if there’s any justice, they’ll both earn their second Oscar nominations for their raw, arresting performances. (Gosling scored a Best Actor nod for Half Nelson, while Williams was recognized in the supporting actress race for Brokeback Mountain.) The film, which I hear has been re-edited since Sundance, will definitely get hit from some quarters as being “too depressing” (there’s no semi-uplifting Precious-style ending here) but I hope that critics, moviegoers, and Oscar voters will deem truth a more important criterion than sunniness. If the seemingly impassioned response from the crowd at today’s Cannes screening is any indication, the new cut was a success.

Comments (20 total) Add your comment
  • sparkle the gym bag

    oh yes more depressing real-life stuff love it happy endings are for losers who can not take reality

  • Tim

    Precious was ‘semi-uplifting’? Really? If ongoing, endless, multi-generational misery is ‘semi-uplifting’. This ‘Blue Valentine’ must be a real delight.

    • Pam

      Exactly what I was thinking…

  • Chris

    Ryan is great in everything he’s been in. I’ve loved him since Breaker High.

    • Na Na…

      …Na Na Na Hey Hey

      Carry me AWAY

  • keith

    CAN. NOT. WAIT. I love a good sad bastard movie. Adore Ryan and Michelle. So glad to see them getting the buzz.

  • LM

    “but I hope that critics, moviegoers, and Oscar voters will deem truth a more important criterion than sunniness.”

    I wouldn’t count on it, as they already rejected “Revolutionary Road.” And rightly so – that movie was such a downer, throwing myself off a bridge seemed more fun than that sitting through that film. Sounds like “Blue Valentine” is the same deal.

    • toadthehampster

      well zippity do dah watch disney

  • C

    cannot wait for this!! I have been anxiously awaiting this movie since I first heard about it…sounds sad, but I love Ryan and Michelle and a great movie is a great movie!

  • Kim

    Ooooh, I love Bearded Ryan Gosling.

  • emmanuel

    like requiem for a dream [i know, random] , an amazing amazing film, incredible sequences. but also incredibly hard to watch.

  • Joseph T

    Very excited for this film!

  • Ibad Shah

    I am SO EXCITED for this! From what you say, it seems too bleak to make a splash come awards season but if it’s really that good I hope people see past its thematic darkness!

  • Sherry

    A more worthy film I have not yet heard of this year. I’m DYING to see it. I’ve loved Ryan and Michelle for as long as I can remember and just know that they are spell-binding in this movie.
    How can they not be?

  • Stella

    Is there anything greater than Ryan Gosling? He’s AMAZING in everything he’s done! I wait in anticipation for this film to get its wide release later this year.

    • Michele

      I have a ridiculous respect/infatuation for Ryan, that it’s utterly insane!

  • Elle

    I can’t wait to see this movie since it stars two of the most talented young actors. It might be depressing but I think it will be a worthwhile film to see.

  • Michele

    I cannot put into words how excited I am for this film! I have been for a couple years, ever since I heard these 2 would be in a movie together! Ryan Gosling is hands down the most talented younger actor working today, and I’ve been saying this for years (There’s countless evidence to his brilliance: The Believer, Stay, Lars and the Real Girl, Half Nelson), and Michelle Williams is my favorite actress. I wish she would have won for Brokeback, and she absolutely deserves a nomination for Shutter Island too. My 2 favorite actors, and I’m so glad this film has got glowing reviews. CAN’T WAIT FOR IT!

  • rose

    there’s nothing like a good movie u can relate to. it gets old having to see happy endings all the time. besides sad ending are reality. if this movie is anything like revolutionary road then its worth watching. That movie had great acting and such a raw feel to it,it was excellent. These are the kind of movies that other directors should take notes from.

  • Adam

    Honestly, I felt that Blue Valentine was what Revolutionary Road was trying to be.

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