Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine. My first reaction: it’s a snuff film. My second reaction: it’s not entertainment. Which is right and wrong. Tragedy isn’t fun, but it is appealing in that train-wreck-in-slow-motion kind of way. The shifting back and forth in time lets you see, in parallel, their courtship (including a falling-in-love montage I will lazily/accurately describe as “cloyingly indie”) and their crumbling. Nice to see signals of their growing union fall into place (e.g., She starts wearing his jacket. One tune played is later revealed to be “their song” from back in the day. Etc.). Ebert observes wisely: “Dean thinks marriage is the station. Cindy thought it was the train.”