I don't have much to say about day four since its rainy outside and I am just lounging around the house today. I will say that this week will probably have its own set of difficulties since re-wearing outfits is going to be unavoidable, and its week one of spring semester.
Last night, Ethan and I went to see Blue Valentine and although we were prepared for a heart wrenching story, written, acted, and filmed beautifully, I was still handed more than I expected.
It seemed appropriate to have box seats to view Blue Valentine, a movie promising unexpected emotional reactions. For $40 (reserved online, matinée) you get two tickets and an overstuffed leather La-Z-Boy loveseat/recliner with dual control; they even throw in a bowl of popcorn and an attentive server to check on you every 15 minutes or so. When we arrived to the theater, we were escorted up the elevator, through the projection room, to our perch. The view of the screen is amazing. The whole setup is absolutely soignée.
I am not going to write a full review and analyze the whole movie, because it really is something you have to experience for yourself instead of second hand. Director Derek Cianfrance had been working on the film for 12 years, and actors Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling had been on board for their roles for six and four years respectively. Cianfrance had some very interesting and innovative methods of filming, from method acting to improvisation to shocking the actors into honest emotion, that really made the movie. The movie was filmed from two perspectives, when the couple first met and then in the present, when their marriage is really on the rocks. For the the scenes when they first met, the actors didn't know each other very well and Cianfrance made them improv a lot which provided the natural awkwardness that exists when people first start interacting. Then, prior to filming the married scenes, Cianfrance had the actors live together in a very small humble house with their on screen daughter (Faith Wladyka who is PRECIOUS by the way). They were placed on a budget, worked minimum wage jobs, and even threw their on screen daughter a birthday party. They would be forced to fight all day and then act like everything was okay when they took Faith to an amusement park. This method acting forced Michelle, Ryan, and Faith to really understand their roles, not only individually but in relationship to one another.
Read a wonderful interview with Ryan and Michelle here.
There were many scenes that had me emotionally tied to the story; many were just emotional and some were graphic. Could the meaning of the movie be obtained without the graphic scenes? Yes. But, what they did successfully add to the movie is making the audience feel just as awkward and uncomfortable as the characters were in the scenes. There was some humorous relief during one of those scenes whenever Ethan declared disgusted with a bite of his sandwich in his mouth, "I'm eating" and I burst out in a very loud laugh, during a scene where laughing is VERY inappropriate. I was very thankful for our private seats right about then.
There are lots of very harsh criticisms of this film, but what is beautiful about it is that Cianfrance didn't write it to appease his audience. He wrote it to tell an honest story about falling in and out of love and to emotionally grip his audience, whether positively or negatively. Ryan Gosling answered in an interview, "when we were in Sundance, we were reading bad reviews, and Derek [Cianfrance] was more excited about the bad ones than the good ones. He wanted to make a film that polarized people."
I had thought I had escaped letting the movie really get to me, as I had assumed I could simply appreciate the film without being affected. I was wrong. As we were driving home discussing the movie in depth, I had to suddenly stop talking to prevent myself from crying and then after a few minutes of composure, I was okay again. Ethan and I were torn about what we believed the ending meant. I won't ruin the ending, but I wanted so badly to be optimistic about what would happen, but Ethan pointed out a symbol at the beginning of the movie that foreshadowed otherwise. I am still torn. But, the point, I think, isn't to figure out what happened to the characters of the story, but to really think about what one would do if they were in the same situation. To relate the story to themselves and really decide what is important.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLV)
"Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit."
1 Corinthians 13:8 (Message)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love never gives up.
over and out.