Words by Benjamin Pinsent
After all those films about the start of a relationship are you hankering for a film about the end of one? What if it has Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone?
This rather interesting film shows the breaking up of Carl and Emily Weaver’s Marriage. As Carl wallows in self pity and doubt he is noticed by man’s man, Jacob who tries to teach Carl in the matters of a single life. However, as Jacob falls in love himself, the relationships between all the characters get more complicated.
This comedy draws from something more subtle and adult than other Rom-Coms, which is clearly showcased through the almost farcical climax of the film. This is manly accredited to the witty script by Dan Fogelman and the realistic performances by the actors, especially a top leading performance by Carell, who gives Carl a paradoxically romantic and disillusioned feel.
There is a rather awkward and very sentimental moment at the end which does spoil the film’s flow, leaving a rather different impression than the rest of the film. But apart from that it is a funny ride through a mid-life crisis and first loves.
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.
Words by Kivlan Legate
This heart-pumping thriller provides the audience with a window into the life of a professional stunt driver who lends his immense talents to the Los Angeles world of crime as a getaway driver. Ryan Gosling’s unnamed, good-hearted protagonist then gets mixed up in the murky underworld of criminality and finds himself fighting for his life, and the life of those he cares for.
Gosling and co-star Carey Mulligan have a great on-screen chemistry that creates a realistic and frustrating relationship between two very complex characters; the affection showed between the two is extremely authentic and truly believable. However it is Gosling’s wide spectrum of acting in the film that stands out for me; he goes from stony-faced professional, through to an affectionate father-figure, to psychotic criminal. With a fantastic supporting cast, Drive is a showcase of brilliant performances.
The technical side of the production also plays an integral role in the quality and style of the film. First and foremost, the cinematography is absolutely stunning with many shots appearing as though crafted by professional artists. Furthermore, the soundtrack of Drive will surely be in the running for best soundtrack at the Oscars as the song choices and high-octane background music heighten the emotions and tension throughout the film.
Drive is a beautifully crafted film, every aspect contributing to a hard-hitting plot and engrossing atmosphere. The realistic performances allow the audience to root for and empathise with the likable characters, and the inclusion of shocking episodes of extreme violence means that the film constantly surprises and consistently entertains. So if you’re looking for a visually stunning film with a riveting story-line, great performances and a spectacular soundtrack, Drive is the film for you.