Blue Valentine is the story of a young couple Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams). It is told in documentary style and shows the defining scenes from a relationship and marriage that has run into difficulties. Cindy is a modern girl who does not show her feelings easily. She grows up in a home that is full of constant tension between her parents. Her grandmother is her refuge and source of advice on the important things in life. Dean is a young man, highly intelligent but without formal qualifications. He has a kind heart, which he wears on his sleeve. He is also an incurable romantic, ready to make sacrifices, particularly one's that suit him, but less ready to let Cindy forget that he made them.
We learn how Dean and Cindy meet, fall in love, decide to get married. We learn how everyday life takes its toll on two good people who love each other and their little girl. Dean does not like to admit to selfish needs, has become partial to drink and can be difficult to live with, both for his partner and for himself. Cindy, who has invested herself in a career as a doctor, has learnt not to show her feelings spontaneously. But sometimes, coping with earning money for the family, getting on in one's career, being a hard-working mother and dealing with an impulsive husband to whom she is emotionally indebted, becomes just too much. Anybody who has ever been in love and has tried to rescue a relationship, which is threatening to break apart on the frictions of every day life, will feel pangs of recognition.
Every now and again a film comes along that touches the heart and wrenches the gut. Blue Valentine is such a film. The acting performances by Ryan Gosling as Dean and Michelle Williams as Cindy are outstanding. Actors, writers and the director deserve the highest accolades. The film contains so much truth, some of it romantic, much of it painful, that it makes for utterly compulsive viewing.