Third review posted of the day, though this was originally written in May of 2011 for my Rotten Tomatoes account. Just felt like adding more content as I was slacking the last few months a bit.
I, personally, was expecting a mix between Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Basic Instinct, but I was very surprised when the film turned out to be a beautiful, fresh breath of life into the marriage drama sub-genre.
The film focuses on a “happily” married couple, charting the evolution of the relationship, from the meeting to the demise of passion, by cross-cutting between time periods.
The script was really immaculate and compassionately written by Derek Cianfrance and Cami Delavigne. Everything was fit perfectly snug together: brilliant dialogue, excellent characters, an amazing amount of detailed character development, and the situations that befall the characters. Also, I love the whole moody structure, how it can go from nuanced, to bold, to hard to watch in some scenes.
The performances were just truly unbelievable. I was really shocked at how much consideration went into making a film about a failing marriage. I’ve heard before by people and critics that Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are pretty talented, but to really see that you need to see this movie. Plus, they work very well together and the chemistry between them is impeccable.
The direction was probably one of my favorite elements of this film. The direction was done by Derek Cianfrance, who also co-wrote the screenplay. It just wouldn’t let up, with the brilliant structure, sweeping cinematography, and an in-your-face unsettling quality to it. Not to mention the very well done, haunting score.