Monday 11 April 2011

Blue Valentine

Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine offered me another study of a rocky marriage. The previous day I had seen Rabbit Hole which gave us a vivid and very believable portrayal of a marriage threatened by the loss of a beloved child.

Nothing tragic or dramatic has happened in Dean and Cindy's marriage in Blue Valentine but instead something has died between them. Jumping back from the bleak present to the romantic past, we see how they met, the fun they had together and their decision to have Cindy's baby and to be a family. In the present, however, Dean cannot grow up and Cindy no longer finds this endearing. Exhausting arguments and misunderstandings wear them both down until they have nothing left to give one another.
This film does not try to pose or to answer any questions about marriage - instead we see a carefully drawn portrait of a relationship which has no future. The dialogue is so accurate that many people may experience a shudder of recognition. Cindy and Dean are not romanticised - their faults are very apparent, but their wish to preserve their little family adds pathos to their inevitable parting.

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