Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue Valentine 2010 and The Marrying Kind 1952

Dank, dark, claustrophobic and very unappealing. Blue Valentine directed by Derek Cianfrance who makes his feature debut with this film is another entry in the sub genre of movies about the disintragration of a marriage. The film spans the unhappy marriage of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and goes back and forth in time which is usual with this kind of movie.  Both actors are ok in their roles, but they’ve both done much better work else where.  I think the film takes place in Brooklyn but there is absolutely nothing about the narrative flow that gave me the feeling of where the film takes place. That is the fault of the director who I also have to blame for the claustrophobic and dark interiors of most of his scenes and the ordinary screenplay.  There are many better Marriage on the rocks films including Penny Serenade, Two For The Road, Shoot The Moon and George Cukor’s  sweet but tart elegant little movie that he made at Columbia in 1952. The film stars the great Judy Holliday and Cukor’s  “discovery” Aldo Ray making his screen debut. Holliday and Ray play Florance and Chet Keever who when the film opens are on their way to a divorce, and in flashbacks they tell their story to a sympathetic judge played by Madge Kennedy. The film begins light and airy with the telling of their brief courtship and hasty marriage, and Cukor gets a terrific performance from Holliday who gets to show off all her skills as an actress. There are some very nice on location shots in New York including the lovely Central Park sequence where the couple first meet. The screenplay which is very good is by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin who did many films with Cukor and know how to mix comedy with tragedy (there is one gut wrenching scene that should move viewers to tears). The supporting cast is terrific with small bits by Peggy Cass, Phyllis Povah, & Mickey  Shaughnessy who stands out as the couple’s butcher brother in law and delivers a swell monologue on why his life has meaning while dressing up a rack of lamb. With no nonsense black and white cinematography by Joseph Walker.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter