Some Kind of Blue

To be sure, anyone looking for porn here will be disappointed: Blue Valentine’s stars only partially disrobe, and though their couplings are frank, they’re not explicit or gratuitous. In keeping with the rest of Cianfrance’s picture, Blue Valentine’s sex is both unimaginatively blunt and frustratingly obscured. The story of how a couple travels from too-cute introduction to irreconcilable differences in just more than half a decade, this divorce movie begins with a child’s scream. Frankie, the kindergarten-age daughter of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), discovers her dog is missing while mom and dad are still asleep (she in bed, he slumped in last night’s clothes in the living room). When Cindy later comes across the dog’s corpse along the side of the road, the parents decide to ship Frankie to her granddad’s house for the night so they can bury the family pet and figure out how to break the news to their kid. With a rare night off from parenthood, Dean decides the time is right to cash in a gift certificate for a future-themed room at a pleasure hotel. “C’mon, let’s get drunk and make love,” husband coaxes reluctant wife, then unsubtly announces the evening’s make-or-break potential for their marriage. “Pack your bags, babe—we’re going to the future.”
March 4-10, 2011
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Karina Longworth

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