Watching two of our best young actors go at it for almost two hours ought to be more rewarding than “Blue Valentine,” starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as Dean and Cindy, a couple falling out and in and in and out of love.
Director and coscreenwriter Derek Cianfrance traces the rocky terrain of their relationship from coy courtship to marriage, a daughter, and nothingness. Dean is a charming working-class lout while Cindy, a college grad, works in a doctor’s office and pines for a better life.
The film’s time structure is splintered into shards of past and present, which is probably just as well – a strictly narrative chronology would make this wallow seem even sloggier. Grade: C (Rated R for strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating.)