It’s rare for a film to employ a non-linear multi timeline narrative as effectively as director Derek Cianfrance’s equal parts heart warming and heart wrenching story about a couple (Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling) meeting and falling in love in one time period and enduring a bitter falling out in another. In hindsight Blue Valentine probably should have felt like two separate films – the parallel timelines are even shot differently – but the plot meshes into one unforgettable romantic picture that has the emotionally unsettling effect of being funny and sweet one moment and devastating the next. Williams and Gosling deserve a large part of the credit for two sophisticated, charming and at times pulverising performances. Expect Williams to run against Jennifer Lawrence (The Winter’s Bone) at the Oscars in February.
Blue Valentine’s Australian theatrical release date: December 26, 2010.