17 January 2011

Review: Blue Valentine

Genre: Drama (Romance)

Derek Cianfrance's [depicted] long-time project Blue Valentine begins with the perfect delicacy of a film-master's pervasively hand-crafted, spell-binding work; purposefully interwoven leaves of a quiet interpersonal drama confidently unfold an elaborate, visually narrated yet somehow still eloquent history. Aided greatly by Andrij Parekh's intentional and compassionate cinematography, this history lifts its action gently but immediately upon inception from the tangible grounds of commonplace occurrences, into the conceptual ether of meditative reflections, emotions and impressions. However, despite the long-time during which Mr. Cianfrance developed his work, the film unfortunately founders, loses its ethereal lift, and fumbles suddenly unnatural to its environmental details part-way through, about when Michelle Williams' Cindy contemplates the future of her pregnancy. Then, the film just gets too confused within its own plot, recombining the mechanics of the story with the purposes meant to alight from them. Though remonstrances for conclusion manages to recover a bit of the levity deeply imbrued into the film's former half, by last-minute expressionistic details belonging to the circumstances of the ending, the vitality drained from the work by the preceding latter half has already diluted so much of its vibrancy, vitality, and color.
Luckily, Ms. Williams is consistently brilliant throughout, exercising her growing talents by her instinctive and quotidian reactions, fraught with powerful explicative contrails, to every minute's new situations; in the smallest changes, complementary with Mr. Parekh's magnificative cinematography, she creates one of her best characters. Her partner in the film, Mr. Gosling wobbles a bit more than she, he forgetting apparently from time to time the full sincerity of his character's motivations; nevertheless, he too delivers a performance great for the year. Aptly together they carry the weight of the film beautifully (for the film's own changing ponderations) and step really across the (still primarily smart) screenplay, written by Mr. Cianfrance, to a horizon at their story's end.

Grade: A-/B+, so promising unentirely fulfilled.

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