blue valentine (2010)

So what was it about 2010? How did David Fincher's facebook movie end up being better than a Scorsese/DiCaprio thriller? For that matter how was a movie about people's faces getting sewn to other people's butts more mind-bending than a movie about dreams within dreams? Why am I asking questions like this when reviewing some romantic drama with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams? Because odds are, when I've seen everything I'm trying for this year, Blue Valentine will probably be the best movie of 2010. I don't think it breaks new ground but it sinks into a murky 2 hours of memory, pooling in spots that matter most, and ultimately defining our characters as singular people, not two parts of a whole, who go out the same way they came in. It's that simplicity and numbness that gives the movie its limited powers. Its power in arranging the events to drift slowly from the concentrated high points that open the film to the scenes hardest to remember, the parts of our lives that don't rush back until 3 am with too much whiskey. The film is touted as being risque, earning an NC-17 when initially rated, but don't believe it. The first thing that sets off the MPAA is seeing emotion onscreen during sex, the rating skyrockets from there. Relative newcomer Derek Cianfrance does an incredible job of directing our gaze within each composition, frame within a frame is everywhere, but mostly in the moody blue portion of the film in the hotel room, the setting for almost all of the film's most effective scenes. Can't wait to see where Cianfrance puts his energies into next. The performances are great by all, especially Williams, did I mention that final shot? guess I should.