Tag Archives: Ryan Gosling

Drive is the coolest film of the year

Nicolas Winding Refn should be mandatory viewing for film nerds.  The audacity and craftsmanship of his filmmaking put him on par with the likes of Darren Aronofsky (see Refn’s Bronson), but with a sense of subtlety (Valhalla Rising).  Pair Refn with the magnetic Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl) and a high concept heist film that co-stars Bryan Cranston, and you have an unholy concoction of brilliant variables unseen since the release of the Double Down (with less heart disease).  But this is far from an action film… Continue reading

Crazy, Stupid, Love the best kind of romantic comedy – A genuine one

The love movie, just like stories about the subject in music or literature, has been done to death.  It’s hard to knock it though, since everyone at some point (save for the sociopaths in the house) has experienced love.  The passion.  The sweetness.  Late night talks.  Late night escapades.  The chemical high of the first few months.  And because we’ve all been there, we can spot a fake tale from a mile away.  Real life Love isn’t formulaic like the romantic comedies dumped into cinemas every February 14.  It’s the most personal, individual experience there is, save for the loss of a loved one, and few stories about Love can capture that lighting in a bottle.  Here’s a film that captured it on celluloid. 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.

Ten You Missed

We are a rather fortunate bunch. Our grandparents only had two chances to see a film: either when it came out in theatres or if it popped up on television, which is what made the annual television screenings of The Wizard of Oz such a big deal. It was not until VHS revolutionized the industry and films could be watched whenever we desired. Combine this with the communication powers of the internet and a film that never got past screenings in New York can suddenly make a ton of cash and notoriety.

With such fortunes, I find it our job as film enthusiasts to promote our favorite smaller films as a counter-weight to the advertising juggernauts that rumble across our cultural plains. Continue reading