Blue Valentine is an intimate, shattering portrait of a disintegrating marriage. On the far side of a once-passionate romance, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) are married with a young daughter. Hoping to save their marriage, they steal away to a theme hotel.
We then encounter them years earlier, when they met and fell in love—full of life and hope. Moving fluidly between these two time periods,
Blue Valentine unfolds like a cinematic duet whose refrain asks, where did their love go?
Framing the film as a mystery whose answer lies scattered in time (and in character), filmmaker Derek Cianfrance constructs an elegant set of dualities: past and present, youth and adulthood, vitality, and entropy.