Blue Valentine

Words by Bianca Castro

Blue Valentine follows an ordinary married couple, Dean Pereira (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy Heller (Michelle Williams) over a span of numerous years, showing the slow evolution of their marriage. Gosling and Williams are both fantastic in their field, and I was expecting great things when I watched the film. They did not disappoint and their acting was heartfelt and sincere.

The filming is close and intimate, almost uncomfortable at times and the relationship between Dean and Cindy seems genuine and, as an audience member, you follow them through their highs and lows. There are scenes that are so awkward you can’t help but squirm and the realism of their small family, the beginnings and the more evolved latter parts of their marriage is fantastic. The story, in true indie style, seems to simply depict snapshots of Dean and Cindy’s growth and their fast moving relationship; the flashbacks are filmed like memories and it’s all so convincing that you forget it’s a film and you live those moments right there with the characters.

The acting is of high quality, something to be expected from the likes of Gosling and Williams. Faith Wladyka who plays their daughter, Frankie is also excellent in her role; the three together are a match made in heaven. The relationship moves with a depressing realism: from idealistic beginnings to a slow failure. It shows what indie fans love, dramatic in the undramatic and Blue Valentine shows it fantastically.

It’s a great film and not the typical paint by numbers drama. It’s portrayal of Cindy and Dean’s ever changing relationship is tender and almost painful at times. The director and writer of Blue Valentine: Derek Cianfrance is able to portray the humble beginnings to the crumbling ends, the details are magnificent. The beauty is in the details of Blue Valentine. It’s a wonderfully touching, poignant film.

Woman In Black: Competition

Courtesy of the lovely people from the Odeon on Head Street, Colchester we have some Woman In Black goodies to give away! There is a T-shirt, mug and torch up for grabs; in the spirit of all films scary just write a 200-500 review of the scariest film you have ever seen! Then all you have to do is send it to either myself at gbailea@essex.ac.uk or my deputy at njeffr@essex.ac.uk by the 7th of March and the goodies could be yours! The best entry will win the goodies and appear on the blog itself and in the Rabbit Film section in the next issue. Good luck film lovers!!

T-shirt (back)

T-shirt (front)

The lovely mug.

And finally the torch to make sure there isn’t anything hiding in the shadows.

Review: Weekend

By Matthew Kon

An honest piece of cinematography, showing a true depiction of life and its inner reflections, Weekend is a film unlike any other. It shows the developing relationship of two men from the start of a casual, alcohol-and-sex induced Friday night, ending on an inescapable Sunday afternoon. Within these 48 hours, the pair is subjected to life’s harsh realities, accepting that they must go their own separate ways.

The trailer for Weekend is gripping and compelling, enough to have made me go to London to watch it. It shows enough of the story to make you fall for one of the characters, and yet gives enough space to allow you to yearn for more in the film. Watching it, you realize that the quality of acting and directorship is second to none. Both actors show a real understanding to the characters that they embody, and it would only be possible given their experience: Chris New who plays ‘Glen’ was nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer beforehand. As a testament to Weekend, Tom Cullen won Best actor at the Nashville Film Festival for his portrayal of ‘Russell’.

For once, there is no façade in place, and no pretense in deceiving the audience. A veil of camp mysticism usually seen in many gay genres is taken away. The usual stereotypical characters associated have been shushed away to allow a more sensual portrayal of this man-meets-man setting. In any case, this film shouldn’t be associated with any typical gay genre movie; the brutal truth showing how these characters have to live their lives around the expectations of society encompass a deeper appreciation to its name.

If you do happen to see this, I hope that on one level you will appreciate to some extent the lengths to which these characters undergo in living within a hetero-normative society; on another level, I hope you consider that these lengths are still part of the light suppression that many LGB people feel on a daily basis.

Perhaps I watched Weekend at a time where I was personally more susceptible to heartbreaking storylines, indulging in some depressing self-depreciation. What I would like to urge you to do however, for no better reason than doing something different, is to watch it. This film is certainly no Bad Romance, and I hope that it enlightens you to a similar extent as it did me.