"Blue Valentine" is playing at the screening room at Carmike's Ritz 13 now through Feb. 17. Click here here for showtimes.
Michelle Williams is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar (to be announced Feb. 27) for her performance as a harried, emotionally complicated wife and mother. Ryan Gosling plays her fun-loving, unambitious husband. He didn't get an Oscar nomination for his role, but both actors are brilliant in this film.
In a nutshell this movie is about the unraveling of a marriage. She works in a medical office. He paints houses. Money is tight. They married young. They both love their daughter. Wife thinks husband acts like a child. Husband thinks his wife is uptight. They fight. They have sex, a lot of it. Yep, you read that correctly. This movie is rated R but barely escaped being slapped with an NC-17 rating. This is not a movie that you want to see with your kids or your parents, no matter their ages. I'm fairly prudish and I certainly felt uncomfortable at times but the sex scenes aren't superfluous. They're part of the film's gritty, raw, emotional journey.
Much press has been devoted to the sexual nature of the film but the story is much deeper and more complicated. The film has moments of sadness, happiness and an overall sense of tenderness.
A favorite quote: Wife asks husband if he wants a job where he doesn't have to drink at 8 a.m. to get going. Husband says "I have a job where I get to drink at 8 in the morning." That disconnect seems to be the central problem with this marriage. This young wife, who once dreamed of becoming a doctor, wants more out of life. The husband doesn't.
The film isn't shown in chronological order. It follows two time lines and consistently flows back and forth between the couple's intense courtship and their troubled marriage five years later. Just enough is left up to the viewers' imagination to make the film an interactive experience.
Thanks Columbus Film Society for bringing this beautifully-filmed, devastatingly realistic story to Columbus.