Do “feelings just disappear,” as Cindy puts it at one point, without a visible trace? If so, Blue Valentine may be an accurate, naturalistic portrait of what it’s like to be locked out of your lover’s heart and head, but in contrast to Gosling’s hyper-expressive Dean, Cindy’s poker face reads as an imbalance. It’s one thing that Dean has no clue who his wife really is, but in a film that purports to study intimacy, the filmmaker could give us more of a glimpse. Without it, Cindy isn’t just a heartbreaker—she’s a villain.
Blue Valentinewas directed by Derek Cianfrance; written by Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne; and stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Rated R. Click here for show times.