February 6, 2011
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Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are easily among the most talented actors of their generation. Having both been nominated for a Golden Globe, this is a fascinating view of a relationship at different points throughout its evolution.
The film follows Dean and Cindy, a couple who we see at the worst of times and the best of times. They haven’t always been perfect, and they are constantly hit with obstacles. But with their daughter Frankie, the three move through an existence that seems destined to become more of the same.The film alternates between their relationship as they first met and years down the road when things aren’t so great. By juxtaposing the earlier and later moments in the relationship, the tension builds in a jarring but emotional way. When the climax comes, the duality of the storytelling takes the film to new heights.
The film succeeds by its conviction to its characters. Dean and Cindy are palpable and relatable. Their flaws are exposed and are unapologetic. Gosling and Williams are brilliant as they embody their roles. That, with the tight script, makes the film visceral and fantastic. Here is an indie movie that conveys much more with a nuance and shows the details rather than tells us. A few scenes in particular do so much more with a reaction that the actual explanation.
A great non-linear drama about relationships. Highly recommended for fans of indie films and the very talented Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. 5 out of 5 stars.