January 25, 2011
I watched this film with so much expectations. It has massive awards buzz for its two primary actors, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Some predictors even place these two above current favorites Colin Firth and Natalie Portman for the Oscar race. My opinion is, I don't think so. While Gosling and Williams are intense, I think the overall languid quality of the movie will not propel their nominations, much less their wins.
The movie was very slow and rather rambling. You see that Cindy (Michelle Williams) is a midwife, while Dean (Ryan Gosling) works in a warehouse. The film crisscrosses from their fatigued relationship at present to the days when they first met. We see how laidback guy Dean is Cindy's fallback second choice, as she was rejected by her first choice jock Bobby (Mike Vogel). Now that their marriage is breaking apart, will their young daughter strengthen their bonds, or drive them further apart?
Wait, haven't we all seen this before, how a weak relationship sours over time? This is exactly my problem with this movie. However talented the cast, the ordinariness of the story felt so tedious to watch develop so slowly over almost two hours. There were so many pointless scenes of the young Dean and Cindy cavorting. You already know the premise from the get-go, and yet the frustrating wait is not at all rewarded by the film's sudden end. Those who seek it out because of the controversial NC-17 rating will also be disappointed, as the scenes in question were not that graphic compared to previous NC-17 films, except of course that it is Michelle Williams in them.