Blue Valentine


Sorry. Not very articulate right now. Still reeling from that film. I don’t know if a movie has ever affected me like that just did.

Yeah. What he said.


I think the level of devastation is directly proportional to the relatability of the situations, and holy hell some of them felt like scenes from my own past relationships, only played out by better-looking people.

I connected more with Never Let Me Go than with this one [yes, I’m younger], but this was still really powerful. I see why Tom loved the ending so much. The past/present story threads started out a bit disconnected—I don’t think I even realized the first jump back had happened until it cut back to the dog—but they grew more & more relevant until they told the same story in parallel at the end. EDIT: Past/present story threads felt kind of like Memento, the way they grew more & more relevant as the film went on.

I’m afraid to say anything more, except that this is another film that loves its reds & blues. My favorite shot, quite early in the film, has the corner of his truck shining red/blue on two different sides, with the red/blue pattern on his jacket’s shoulder, and a red/blue can in his hand. It reminded me of another red/blue shot from The Secret in Their Eyes.

“I think guys are more romantic, you know?”

I just saw this - everything I knew about it was from this thread and the one-liner synopsis on Rotten Tomatoes. I was expecting something like Closer or Eyes Wide Shut, and this was a less dramatic but more realistic portrayal of a relationship falling apart. Recommended, but for my taste I think I prefer the over-the-topness former films.

I don’t have much to say about this film except that it should be seen.

On a programming note, if you liked the music you should go ahead and buy these two albums:

Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

and Grizzly Bear - Veckatmeist

They’re both excellent albums, and are made by most of the same people. Although I was surprised that Department of Eagles didn’t get credited in the music, seeing as “In Ear Park” got some really prominent placing in the movie.

A beautiful movie that owes a lot those guys.

Those are excellent recommendations, Gabe. I meant to look up the music after seeing the film but that intention slipped by the wayside in the utter deluge of films I was seeing at the end of the year.

Thank you so much.


“You’re a man among men…no homo.”

I forgot to mention that the music in the film is actually taken directly from those two records (as well as Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House and Friend EP). They didn’t make any new music specifically for the movie. Which is kind of cool that they managed to use what are ostensibly pop songs (albeit very conceptual - well composed and executed pop songs) as film scoring.

It’s just edited so you never really hear any of the vocals.

I got confused with the last scene in the kitchen. What exactly was he apologizing for? Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see any signs of him doing anything really bad throughout the movie, he seemed to be a genuine loving father and husband.

Also, since I had listened to Tom’s top 10 podcast, I gathered from their discussion about not being able to explain to (Dingus) kids what happened between the couple, that one of them was going to do something really vile which would eventually lead to the breakup. I kept waiting for it but that never happened so the comment was sort of an anti spoiler I guess.

Did you take a pee break during the climactic scene that happened right before that or something?

The doctor thing? But she was done with him long before that. I was wondering if he did something in the past that made her drift away.

So he was just apologizing for getting her fired in that scene? That’s his “worse”?

I’d say that’s probably a low point for them both, yes.

The movie doesn’t lay any blame directly on anyone or anything. I think a key moment is where she asks him if there’s anything he “wants to do” and he says he just wants to be a dad, and she asks if just settling with the life he has disappoints him. It’s one of the few moments where they are able to talk openly and honestly to each other, and it leads to bickering. They just don’t see eye to eye anymore on what they want out of life and they aren’t able to effectively communicate to work through it.

Ok I think I get it. He didn’t do anything wrong in the relationship. She is clearly the bad guy. Seems like when she met the old boyfriend in the supermarket, she realized that she was still hot and she had to get out of the relationship to score some rich dude and not some janitor’s son.

I wouldn’t say that’s it at all. She just has nothing left for him. His behavior at the end reflects that of her old boyfriend when she was through with him, even if it isn’t quite as bad; and she certainly didn’t trade up when she moved between those two relationships.

One of the interesting things I read in an interview with the two actors was how Michelle Williams felt about how her character was going to resonate, especially with women. I don’t recall the exact quote, but it was along the lines of “women don’t leave excellent dads” and she felt that doing so made her character unsympathetic. Not that she objected to this per se, it just seemed to be something she had to work out in playing the character.

A woman I have a great deal of esteem for felt she had to leave her husband under similar circumstances. I think the way she put it was that she just had to give herself a shot at happiness. He was a good dad. She was a good mom. But they were no longer a good couple.

This is what I love about this film. This isn’t a crime scene, so looking for the criminal here is inappropriate. And laying blame is useless, as delirium suggests above. It’s a beautiful two-act view of a relationship, with those acts brilliantly intercut.


“Pack your bags. We’re going to the future.”

She didn’t trade up? First guy was some loser asshole. Dean loved her and was willing to make huge sacrifices to be with her. I guess if you are strictly looking from a monetary/profession point of view, it’s not much of a trade up.

I’d say the point of Blue Valentine is that in situations like that, there are no villains. Only victims. Part of the strength of the story and the performances is that they both deserve blame and sympathy.


What Tom said is more on the mark, but I was just responding to your comment about her trading up for ‘some rich dude’. I do think Dean was a better person than the other guy.

Agreed 100%, I saw this today and had to stop myself from crying in the theater a few times. I saw myself on screen multiple times today and it hurt.

That’s why the music sounded familiar. I was trying to remember which band it was by. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House is my “I need to fall asleep” album of choice.

Are you old enough to be posting on this message board?