Tag Archives: Michelle Williams

Meek’s Cutoff – The Bleakest Western you’ll ever see.

A vast, desolate wasteland with no shelter on the horizon. A man at the end of his wits carving one word, his worst fear, into a stray log: Lost. A trickling creek breaking up the hopeless landscape. The camera pans up, and all we can see are a few women gathering water in slow motion-except then we realize there is no camera gimmickry going on here; the women are simply burdened by the weight of their own weariness. These are the shots that open Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, and they set the pace, tone and themes of the film in motion without ever uttering  a word. Meek’s Cutoff is as difficult to watch as the terrain its characters traverse, its painstaking journey is incredibly rewarding. Continue reading

Blue Valentine tinged with misogyny?

The initial brouhaha surrounding Blue Valentine‘s rating by the MPAA has receded to the background–the filmmakers won their appeal for an R rating rather than an NC-17. The film, now circulating in limited release, is being met by strong critical praise.  Upon seeing the film though I wonder if it is unintentionally misogynistic? Continue reading

Blue Valentine will break your heart

Romance in cinema is usually confined to two distinct categories: Either two people learn to love each other (consummated by a kiss or marriage) or they learn to leave each other for someone else.  Other than the uneasy ending to The Graduate, there are few films willing to follow a couple beyond their climactic decision to get together/leave.  Blue Valentine plays with each romantic format, but its uncomfortable window into a marriage imploding will make you want to call the cops for the couple’s mutual safety. Continue reading

Blue Valentine no longer rated NC-17

After initially earning an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, the romantic drama Blue Valentine has won its appeal for an R rating.

The MPAA spokesperson stated:

“the rating was lowered after the group’s appeals board viewed the film and heard arguments from Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. is releasing it.”

An NC-17 rating is regarded as box office poison with many cinemas refusing to play such films.  Director Derek Cianfrance stated he had support from The Weinstein Company to release the film with the NC-17 designation if need be.  Fortunately for him and film fans, it did not come to that.  Blue Valentine hits theaters December 31.