“Blue Valentine” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 21
“Tell me how I should be. Just tell me. I’ll do it.”
Well, Blue Valentine is certainly an emotional heavyweight of a film. The chemistry between the leads – Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams – is strong. The story’s non-linear presentation – jumping back and forth between various times in their lives – is a bit jarring and perhaps unnecessary. It would have worked as a linear story just as well – maybe better.
I can’t say I really enjoyed the movie, but I appreciate what the actors brought to it. It’s a hard movie to enjoy given how upsetting and negative it often is – but I suppose that even the worst of times need representation in film.
Also, I didn’t really like the characters. Everyone’s kind of unlikable, and that makes me as a viewer fairly apathetic towards any outcome for their relationship. They’re not very bright people, and they make maddeningly bad decisions pretty much start to finish. Mostly I just wanted them to separate. It’s just too brutal and depressing, and then it just abruptly ends.
Being reminded of terrible people making terrible life choices is not my ideal way of spending two hours, but I’m sure actors admire Gosling and Willams’s on-screen commitment to the story being told.
Blue Valentine was at the time of this review at #546 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #962 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Blue Valentine vs. Leaving Las Vegas
An excellent thematic matchup. Both dealing with a difficult relationship, but I actually really care about both Nic Cage and Elizabeth Shue’s characters quite a bit, and feel deeply saddened by their issues. One of my favorite performances by Cage, for sure.
Blue Valentine vs. End of Days
Gabriel Byrne is an awesome Satan. I think End of Days is an underrated Arnie flick.
Blue Valentine vs. Dude, Where’s My Car?
One or two jokes won’t cut it for Dude.
Blue Valentine vs. Little Fockers
Lesser comedy versus hard-hitting drama. I’ll give it to Blue Valentine.
Blue Valentine vs. jOBS
Ashton Kutcher did try his hardest to do a good Steve Jobs impression, but it didn’t help that he had a terrible script around it. Blue Valentine wins.
Blue Valentine vs. Terminator Salvation
The worst of the Terminator movies, by far – even more than the new Genisys film. Blue Valentine wins.
Blue Valentine vs. Religulous
I really like Bill Maher and his Real Time HBO show. He’s unafraid to tell it like he sees it, and Religulous points out a lot of really ridiculous things about religion. It’ll beat Blue Valentine.
Blue Valentine vs. Notorious
Really, the only Hitchcock movie that I’ve seen that I’m not a fan of. Blue Valentine wins.
Blue Valentine vs. Look Who’s Talking Now
Talking babies. Nope. Blue Valentine wins.
Blue Valentine vs. Titus
A rather cheap, poorly plotted “modernized” Shakespeare movie. Hopkins has done much better work. Blue Valentine wins.
Blue Valentine is now ranked #1091 out of 1438 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Up next week is Perfect Blue, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.