The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yay, Gosling! Nay, Gosling... (Two Short Reviews)


All Good Things: It's really disappointing when a concept with such high potential falls as flat as this one did. The real life story is fascinating and the cast looked to be truly intriguing, but due to the film's unfocused direction and tonally-confused screenplay, the entire film turns into a boring slog that goes completely nowhere and leaves you knowing less about the topic than you did before you watched it. However, while Gosling and Frank Langella were unable to come out of this film unscathed, Kirsten Dunst was quite the opposite - in fact, she did quite fantastic work, the likes of which could be the only redeeming thing about this movie. Dunst gives such subtle work and her arc was absolutely perfect. I do hope we see more of her soon, because she's proven here her worth, and this movie is perhaps worth watching to see her fantastic performance. Oh! By the way -
Kristen Wiig is hilarious. (5/10)

Blue Valentine: Despite what the critics will have you think, this film does have flaws, which I attribute in large part to its screenplay. The overall effect of the writing is perfect - the development of the relationship between Gosling and Williams is perfectly paced and bittersweet. However, some of the smaller units end up feeling slightly unnecessary and rambly. Of course, starting with this small complaint is to give too much emphasis to the negatives, which really pale in comparison to the wonderful things about this movie. Williams, who I love, may not be doing her best work here, but it is still a heartbreaking performance; and Gosling is simply stunning. He completely inhabits his character and the way he plays the very last scene is simply devastating. In reality, that last scene sealed the deal for me - what with the Grizzly Bear score and the fireworks and the...aghhh. It was just so moving. The film is truly an achievement, if not the masterpiece that some have called it. (8/10)

4 comments:

  1. spot on with the ratings! what was the grizzly bear song at the end?

    my favorite song was the one from the mix cd

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  2. Can't wait to see Blue Valentine but I'm a bit lazy driving down to the indie theater with the really cold weather we are getting at the moment.

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  3. You know, I just have one hesitation on this (otherwise well-written) review--why the relatively low score? I can't help but think this score is an 8 partially because all the reviews put it at a 10, whereas you'd put it at a 9, therefore making it an 8 because of the overinflated press. Making it an 8 is making a statement that it was as good as Easy A and worse than Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. As much as I love those two films (they were on my year-end Top Ten, after all), I think those are two hard-to-substantiate arguments.

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  4. Annie: Thanks! I read somewhere where it listed what song was at the end but I can't remember - I'm definitely buying the soundtrack when it comes out.

    Castor: You should go see it ASAP! It's really worth the drive in the snow :)

    Kevin: Very good question, very good question! You know, all the inflated press aside, I still feel like it would merit an 8. My rating system is very...well, still undeveloped, but besides that, very subjective. I consider 8 to be still a very good score, and really, it's the number I felt went with Blue Valentine. But I totally get your argument - in no way is Easy A comparable to Blue Valentine! I suppose, in very simple terms, Easy A is on the lower spectrum of an 8, whereas Blue Valentine would be on the higher end. I'm still working on perfecting the system. ;) I hope that clears things up, I know it was kind of a roundabout answer but the whole ratings thing is, in my opinion, less important than the actual content of the review/feeling of the reviewer.

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