Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) are married but their relationship is feeling the strain. Trying to reignite their spark with their daughter away for the night, Blue Valentine charts the decline of their relationship against the earlier tale of how they met and fell for each other.

How can you save a relationship that, when you are introduced to it, you know is doomed?  That is the question posed to the viewer here. Blue Valentine is a love story but not the Disney version. Even though it is downbeat in tone, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Blue Valentine was excellent, with a pair of central performances that had me fixated, desperate to know if they could work through their issues and equally how they came together in the first place. For me it works so well as it showcases the two elements we have all experienced – the dreamlike beginnings of a relationship and the strains of the collapse – in a very human and identifiable way.

If you like this then maybe try:

21 Grams (similar pacing and character drama) or Eagle vs Shark (alternative and off beat view on relationships)