Tag Archives: 8/10

Argo (2012)

“If I’m going to make a fake movie, it’s going to be a fake hit.”

Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman

ArgoWhen Islamist militants storm the US Embassy in Iran, six Americans escape being taken as hostages by slipping out of the building unnoticed. Finding refuge with the Canadian ambassador, the CIA formulate a plan to extract them, though consultant Tony Mendez criticises their proposals.

Much preferring his own idea, Mendez decides to take it upon himself to personally go into Iran and extract them. Posing as a film producer, he will meet the fugitives who will have to act as a team of Canadian filmmakers. Under the guise that they are out there scouting exotic locations for their new film, Argo, Mendez should be able to get the six of them out and back home. This elaborate plan has many flaws though, which in such a hostile environment could prove fatal to everyone involved.

Argo is based on the true events of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, and a dramatisation of the article the ‘Canadian Caper’. Given that this is such a heavy topic, the film was surprisingly accurate with the events that unfolded, documenting the unbelievable process that went into ensuring these six Americans were brought home safely. Argo was Affleck’s opportunity to prove that his last film The Town wasn’t just a fluke after the critical acclaim it gathered across the board too. Thankfully this time round was even better, showing that Affleck is looking more settled than ever in his directors chair. It’s hard to tell, but I think his acting has gotten a little better too.

Having put himself in the role of the hero, Tony Mendez, we see a lot of Affleck on our screens. While he has obviously taken advantage of his power and influence behind the film, I’m glad to say he didn’t seem to overdo his workload. As a character, Mendez is the epitome of the protagonist. Willing to sacrifice himself to save six strangers takes a courage not many can hold, and Affleck really gets into this role with a vigour I haven’t seen from him for a while.

It must be said that the acting all around was brilliant; each actor holds their own when presented with a script so full of angst that it further cements this film as a serious story. But for me, Bryan Cranston was especially delightful to watch. As Jack O’Donnell, Cranston is wonderful; playing Mendez’ supervisor meant that he and Affleck had to hold a chemistry relatable to these heavy events, and somehow they also pull off a series of light-hearted, comedic scenes, which ensured their interactions were some of the best in the film. John Goodman and Alan Arkin also had the capacity to do this while keeping the story on track, reminding us that there were much more pressing things going on. It brought the film an element of affability and made sure it wasn’t just another full-on, tense movie. Sometimes these lighter scenes are needed to break up the intensity, and Affleck made the right call here.

Another element of the film which hit the nail on the head was the pacing, which kept the story really fresh. The suspense element was always there too, lasting throughout the film right until the very end. Even if you know the outcome of what happened, I can guarantee you will be on the edge of your seat. Affleck seems to have got his head around the right way to do this, and it builds so well that you are captivated with each scene.

The scene transitions were also seamless. Rather than looking like 3 different films put together as scenes switched from Iran to Hollywood to the CIA headquarters, they blended beautifully. Each place had its own feel and atmosphere, but it wasn’t overly noticeable, meaning that the audience were subconsciously aware of each location and its underlying theme.

Affleck has done it again, and hopefully he’s going to keep on doing it a lot more! Argo is a wonderful film about unbelievable events filled with amazing people. The actors have really put in their all and portrayed each person with a fire akin to these serious events. It is one of the must-watch films from 2012 and really deserved all of the Oscar nominations it got.

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by Ben Affleck.

Running time 120 minutes.

Life of Pi (2012)

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

Cast: Surah Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain

220px-Life_of_Pi_2012_PosterIt’s always hard for films to match up to the standards of books for many different reasons, Life of Pi pushes those challenges far and wide.

When I read Yann Martel’s novel in 2009, I tried to imagine the outcome if it were to be made into a film; basically I couldn’t. The levels of imagination, creativity and extraordinary events that occur throughout the book are unworldly and for that to be harnessed and put within a film seemed impossible. How wrong I was.

When Pi is 16, his father decides to sell their zoo and move the family Canada, taking the animals with them to sell around North America. The journey over there proves devastating when a storm causes the ship to sink, leaving Pi stranded at sea on a life raft accompanied by a Bengal tiger, a zebra, a hyena and an orangutang.

Due to the film being about such an isolated event, it doesn’t have that many real/ human characters, so it has fallen to Surah Sharma to really tell the story. Never having acted previously, Sharma is surprisingly wonderful to watch in front of the camera and he really holds his own here. Other actors we get a glimpse at are Rafe Spall and Irrfan Khan who bring a bit more to the story in a sense of realness. Spall plays an interested author looking for a story to tell and Khan as adult Pi. Their contribution is really nice to watch as apart from these two interacting with each other, most of the film is between Pi and the animals. Spall also works to our advantage by questioning the unbelievable things that unfold, enabling the story to become as plausible as possible.

A lot of the scenes in Life of Pi rely completely on CGI. With the nature of the story being a bit outlandish too, it was evident it would have to be this way. Thankfully, it all comes across as very natural and blends into the film so well, you can’t even tell you’re watching computerised images at times. Also in regards to the cinematography, rather then filming in 2D and converting to 3D later (which seems quite pointless to me), Life of Pi was filmed in 3D. It really takes advantage of this by playing with the audience throughout and has been the only 3D film I’ve seen of late that actually utilises this effect.

The things about the film that let it down were quite small issues. Having read the book and creating your own world in which this all could happen, the film doesn’t quite reach standards that your imagination can. This was a hard film and story to pull off though so what has been produced is something to marvel at anyway. Ang Lee has done a wonderful job of incorporating as many aspects of the book as possible and if people haven’t read the book, they should be in for a treat with this.

Another issue that seems to have cropped up is that it is very hit and miss with audiences. It’s very strange to try and put this situation in our world, so relating to it is harder – though the ending should make up for that! Also religion is a very big, albeit well blended, topic of discussion throughout. As it is quite untalked of in most films it may deter some people who are perhaps not used to it being so openly discussed, and in some lights, the whole story itself is like an analogy of religion.

Life of Pi is a wonderful film full of hope and creativity. I’d recommend seeing it in 3D but I’m sure 2D is just as good, it’s just nice to see the lengths that cinema can go these days in making the audience feel as involved in the story as possible. After his performance as Pi, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Surah Sharma in the near future. I’d also recommend reading the book too!

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by Ang Lee.

Running time 127 minutes.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

“I do all this shit for other people and then I wake up and I’m empty. I have nothing!”

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro

silver linings playbookFinally, a romcom without the cringy, soppy, over-the-top parts. I don’t even really want to call it a romcom as people may just disregard it straight away, so scrap your preconceptions now! What we have here is a clever film about two broken people, one has just come out of a mental health facility and the other has been recently widowed. When they meet, their dysfunctional personalities compliment each other and a weird spark ignites between them.

Silver Linings Playbook follows the lives of Pat and Tiffany. When an opportunity to take advantage of each other  presents itself – Pat wants to contact his estranged wife and can do so through Tiffany, while Tiffany needs a dance parter for a show – they form an odd but captivating friendship.

Now being a romantic comedy, any old fool can see what is going to happen given these circumstances. However the way in which it happens is what really sets it apart from the rest and has garnered the film 8 different Oscar nominations.

Bradley Cooper has always been on my good-actor-but-needs-a-good-role list. His previous films have been good but not very challenging in terms of character. Playing someone with a bipolar disorder who is struggling to accept this is what has put his talents to the test, and delightfully it has paid off. Yes, he is the Hollywood heart-throb of the film, and I guess all romcoms need a bit of eye-candy to draw in the female audience (of which the majority of this genre is aimed at), but thankfully he has not fallen into the typical cheesy lead which a lot of male leads do. He stands out from the rest through his ability to delve deeper into the character and explore his issues. Cooper has obviously done his research and it is recognisable from start to finish.

Cooper’s lead companion, Jennifer Lawrence, rivals his effortless portrayal. Lawrence is on her way up and nobody is about to stop her. As the troubled Tiffany we are given a very different character than what we are normally presented with in these types of film. Her character development is wonderful to watch as she grows from a hostile, socially awkward girl to a mature and more stable young woman. Throughout the film she provides a fun and light-hearted twist on such a heavy topic and by introducing this element, it opens the film up to a wider audience. She is enchanting to watch and I have no doubt has brought this film a level of groundedness that helps people to relate to these characters, even if they have never had any experience with mental disorders before.

Another brilliant casting decision was Robert De Niro as Pat’s dad. Pat Sr., the Philadelphia Eagles fanatic, is a great character to watch. Encompassing that fatherly emotion, his and Cooper’s character interactions play out just how you’d expect a father and son relationship to be, especially given these circumstance. Trying to be strict and fair, yet letting his love for his son sometimes cloud his judgement, De Niro has hit the nail on the head with his portrayal. Chris Tucker and Jackie Weaver also add a bit more dimension to the film. Tucker as Pat’s hospitalised friend who keeps trying to escape, and Weaver as Pat’s mother. They bring the film a sense of roundedness and humour to the film, giving the other characters a bit more to work off.

A big factor of the film we really have to acknowledge are the writers. This fun, witty, deep, dark and playful dialogue is like no other. Without such a good handle on the events and the ways in with they unfold, the film could have either come off as in over its head or simply inadmissible. Teaming the script with the such great actors needs to be applauded too, these factors go hand in hand and compliment each other brilliantly.

Silver Linings Playbook is one of the best and most ‘real’ romcoms around. When I say that, I mean that I could see this kind of thing happening in real life, and I think that’s why it has been so well received. From the cast to the script to the heavy issues and light-hearted moments, all of these factors work together to produce a film that stands well above the rest in terms of romance and comedy. If you’re sick of the soppy, predictable love films, it would seem Silver Linings Playbook is the one you’ve been looking for.

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by David O. Russell.

Running time 122 minutes.

Batman Begins (2005)

“You must become more than just a man in the mind of your opponent.”

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy

I was still a young’un when Batman Begins was released so I hadn’t seen any adaptations of the Caped Crusader up until then. What I’d heard about a majority of them though – “cheesy”, “goofy” and “very gay” – was enough to deter me from the franchise full stop, it didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy. I was looking forward to what I knew Nolan would bring to the franchise as a whole though. Having previously worked on Memento and Insomnia, I knew the style he’d adopt would be more ominous, a completely different direction to what had previously consumed Batman. Little did I know what a huge shift the franchise would incur because of this director’s vision though.

The story goes that as a kid, Bruce Wayne watches on as his parents are cruelly killed in front of him. Fast forward 15 years and we now have an angry man wanting to seek vengeance for this evil act yet no real output in which to focus his energy, even more so after an opportunity to act is snatched from under him. After a combined source of training, money, knowing the right people, a multimillion dollar estate and a thirst for (Wayne’s own definition of) ‘justice’ and we have ourselves, Batman.

Most bits of this film fall under the ‘good’ category, predominantly Bale. Obviously as the star of the show Bale is the one we all have our eyes on. His portrayal of this iconic hero will be judged first and foremost, and ultimately set the standard for the rest of the film. There is no doubt that he has had a major hand in turning around this franchise. By taking on this role, Bale immediately becomes the face of the franchise. From his demeanour to his physical state and obvious commitment to the role, he makes sure to bring Batman back more badass than ever.

The tone of the film also seems much more serious and fuelled by emotion than previous adaptations have allowed. It gives the series a new dimension and opens up to allow for character development and expansion on the history behind why Batman is who he is, and for further explorations of each character. Another very welcomed part of the film comes from the city of Gotham itself. It looks visually stunning. Very gritty, corrupt, sleazy and a damn sight more scary than ever before, the set combined with some level of CGI certainly does its part in setting the tone and establishing a sense of lawlessness in this World. I think I would welcome a masked vigilante if I lived in that place!

With the good bits come the not-so-good bits, though you’ll be happy to know these are few and far between. Katie Holmes, straight away, is just a pain. I’ve actually not seen her in anything good.. Sorry, let me rephrase that, I’ve not actually seen her act well in anything. I find her irritating and whiny, though this could just be to do with the script she was given. Even still, looking at the sequel (where Holmes was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal), she must have been doing something wrong because Rachel suddenly gets a whole lot better! I don’t really know why she was cast. One other thing that began to grate on me was Bale’s voice as Batman. This gruff and husky sound coming from behind that mask – though I realise needed to be done to protect his identity, duh! – did my head in by the end! When I found myself getting used to it, scenes when he was back to being standard playboy Bruce made me even more aware of the difference and I’d get a bit irritated again. Not much of an issue in the grand scheme of things though.

There are a many great things about this film, far too many to go into detail with. By scratching the surface I could tell you about the great actors (Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman etc.), the supercool gadgets, amazing cinematography, clever ideas, sharp editing, swift combat scenes and overall shake up of the franchise, or you could just watch it and see for yourself.

Batman Begins marks to beginning of great things to come.

 Star rating:  8.5/10

Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Running time 140 minutes.

Avengers Assemble (2012)

“I have too much swag for this place”

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth

The Avengers is a film a lot of people have been looking forward to for a long time. As we have progressed within the Marvel superhero genre, from The Hulk to Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, the next step to bring them all together was hotly anticipated.

When Earth is threatened by Loki and his army, Nick Fury – director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D – assembles a team of superheroes under The Avengers Initiative. As one team, The Avengers struggle with power issues, ego issues, morals and plans of attack, but there is one thing they all are striving for, a win against the baddies. Full of fast paced action, great one liners (I’m looking at you Iron Man) and extraordinary graphics, Avengers Assemble deserves the hype it has been getting and more. It’s a superb film.

All of the cast do a great job in bringing these iconic characters to life. Where we’ve seen most of these actors in these roles before, Avengers Assemble gives them all another chance to further establish their mark in their roles.

For me, Robert Downey Jr. has redeemed himself as Iron Man. I have always thought the character was a great match to Downey’s persona, yet in Iron Man 2 he kind of loses his charisma and zang a bit. The Avengers sees him back to his great self though; funny, witty, over confident and smug – with a relative ease I might add! Downey is a perfect Tony Stark.

Chris Hemsworth is great as Asgardian God, Thor, and has some really good battle scenes – I think some are even better than the ones in his solo film. I love his old timey way with words against this new age of cocky, egotistical superheroes too and he indirectly provides one of the funniest moments of the film. It’s also great to see him working opposite Tom Hiddleston again, these two have a great chemistry.

While I have yet to see Captain America and give a fair comparison on Chris Evans’ performances, judging by this film, Evans does a great job in both. I will admit that I didn’t like his character the most and I hated his costume (it was that mask!) but I feel that stood alongside the other superheroes, he was more willing to solidify his character and act bigger and better than he did before. I say this as I’ve seen it of everyone in the film though. It must be the effect of bringing together a bunch of people that consequently form this powerhouse of a team, where they all encourage and push each other on.

The role I was anticipating the most was from Mark Ruffalo. As The Hulk, Ruffalo far exceeds any previous attempt to capture the essence of the infamous green beast and gives more of a compassionate, human side to him. I also enjoyed that he was a person for most of the film and not a raging animal. It meant we saw a bit of actual acting and character development, not just some super CGI. Ruffalo also pulls off the nerdy, tough guy look well! (I think it’s the glasses combined with the muscles, but maybe that’s just me!)

We briefly saw the Black Widow in Iron Man 2 but The Avengers gives her character a bit more substance with some more backstory. She’s not a superhero as such, but a highly trained spy working for S.H.I.E.L.D just like Hawkeye, with whom she co-exists. Scarlett Johansson does great in this role, at times she had me thinking that with being a woman she wouldn’t be able to match the big boys and would have been portrayed as being vulnerable or weak against them, but how wrong (and sexist) I was! She’s not there as eye candy or added to the cast as a romantic foil; she’s both physically and psychologically powerful, giving everyone a run for their money.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye was also a great addition. Known as the “World’s Greatest Marksman”, Hawkeye is no superhero either, he’s really just a guy with a high skill set. He oozes a confidence that most superheroes do allowing him to fit in really well with the rest of the cast. Though I wasn’t really concerned about a backstory with this guy, I was happy for him to just do his thing, a nice spin-off in the future would do just fine.

The way the tension and conflict is built within the team is great, though somewhat expected. Most of the heroes don’t like each other which gives a lot of different textures to be played with. Some rose to the top through solo endeavours (Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk) while others were helped, coxed or directed along the way (Captain America, Black Widow). This gives a great complexity running though the film as these larger than life characters, that aren’t used to working together, bump heads. Whedon must have had a great time playing around with different scenarios and he has totally succeeded.

To really grasp all the concepts, subtle jokes and background stories of each character, I would suggest watching all of the individual films concluding with The Avengers. Though it must be said, some of these films aren’t all that great and won’t get you all that hyped for The Avengers. I think it’s possible to get by without seeing all of the films, though I would suggest Thor and Captain America to help fill in some background details. I have only seen Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor and The Hulk (of which I thought all adaptations from Eric Bana to Ed Norton were poor), but have yet to see Captain America and found it fine. However, one would question why you would have an interest in The Avengers if you haven’t seen any of the previous films or read the comics.

Avengers Assemble is everything fans of the Marvel series have been hoping for. While there are some who think the script is too light and airy, we’re dealing with superheroes – it’s not meant to be overly dramatic but just awesome, packed full of action and an overload of cool graphics – which it definitely is. I think the writers should be proud of themselves, they brought together everyone in one film and made it work, mannerisms, individual backstories and unifying qualities, even leaving space for character development.

A fantastic film!

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by Joss Whedon.

Running time 142 minutes.

The Hunger Games (2012)

“Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.”

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

Set sometime in a dystopian future, America is now a country called Panem, split into 12 districts and ruled by one, the Capitol. Each year these districts supply 2 tributes, a girl and boy between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight to the death on live television. Established to remind the districts about past and failed attempts at a revolt, The Hunger Games are just another way for the Capitol to display their control over Panem.

The 74th reaping sees 12-year old Primrose Everdeen picked as tribute – though her sister Katniss quickly volunteers in place of her. From the boys Peeta Mellark is chosen and together, the two go on to prepare and fight in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

After hearing the announcement of the film I got straight to the books. I had a feeling they were going to be huge, something akin to Twilight (but hopefully much better quality), so I set about making my way through the trilogy. The cast for the film wasn’t announced until I was off on the second book, so this futuristic world and the people in it had already been created in my mind. Fortunately though, I believe the casting choices made for The Hunger Games were fantastic.

Initially it was the three protagonists that interested me most and when I heard of who was playing ‘The Girl on Fire’ I was thrilled. Jennifer Lawrence has always said she chooses the quality of a script over the size of a film, hence her starring in more independent movies in the past. Since her role in Winter’s Bone though, I’ve been willing her to do something more mainstream just so a larger audience could appreciate her talent. I’d seen Hutcherson in The Kids are Alright about 2 years back but couldn’t really remember his character and all I knew about Hemsworth was that he was dating Miley Cyrus. Not great qualities to judge the 2 male counterparts on I’ll admit, but it just made me more anxious to see them in action.

Needless to say, the three of them do great, Lawrence in particular. Her intense and controlled performance allows for her to emerge as this fantastic new heroine, and yet she seems so relatable. Stripped of sexual ornamentation with her bow and arrow, no smoke and mirrors but just a girl on a mission, Katniss epitomises what hasn’t been on our screen for a long time – a strong and empowered female lead. For it to come from a 16 year old girl in a postapocalyptic world too, gives hope to all.

Teamed with this intensity are the slightly aloof, highly strung people of the Capitol. These colourful bunch (quite literally) have stayed so true to the book that I worry people who have jumped straight to the film won’t get it. Most notably Stanley Tucci, the affectionate, eccentric TV presenter – utterly fantastic. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks also make for a fantastic team as District 12 mentors Haymitch and Effie. We also see some other great performances from Wes Bentley and, one which surprised me for the better, Lenny Kravitz.

The only thing that would have improved the film, for me, would have been a bit more gore. In the arena for instance, the killings are rather subtle and some are conveniently out of sight. While it’s obvious why this was done, the book does give more detail about the deaths. Though it must be said that this factor doesn’t really detract from the quality of the film or the story, it would have just given the film a more ‘adult’ tone.

The only worries I have is that the second film isn’t going to stay as true to the books or as ‘non Hollywood’ as the first. As a director Ross was good, but not superb. The camera work was a bit shoddy in some places and I felt like certain qualities and important bits of information were amiss. Still, he wasn’t bad either. Now we’ve learnt that the director is being changed (Ross claims to be ‘too busy’ for the second film) and there is no doubt more money will be pumped into the next instalment. As with a lot of sequels of very successful films, increased investment can sometimes see a degradation in the more basic, humble and simple qualities which made it great in the first place.

Regardless of this, The Hunger Games is a great film that gives promise to the following instalments in the franchise. Carrying more messages about reality TV and our constant desensitisation to violent images, the film stands for so much more than you may initially think. It has already broken many box office records and is quickly becoming one of the biggest films in recent years, most probably one of the biggest of 2012. The cast are all fantastic and make this film even more concrete than I thought possible. I’d also recommend reading the books, they’re just as great .

Star rating:   8/10

Directed by Gary Ross.

Running time 142 minutes.

Blue Valentine (2010)

“In my experience, the prettier a girl is, the more nuts she is, which makes you insane.”

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams and John Doman

The truth is this is what love is like, forget those sappy rom-coms.

Blue Valentine follows the lives of Dean and Cindy, from their first meeting right on through to their marital life. And romance isn’t all roses as some other Hollywood blockbusters may have you believe. No, this is the real stuff. The good, the bad and the downright ugly.

As I keep saying, and sorry to reiterate, but Gosling is becoming one of our generations greatest actors. He has such a fantastic charisma, presence and work ethic that you can see him give 110% effort with every role he takes.

And Gosling’s approach to the character of Dean is no different here. Somehow he manages to convey this sweet guy, very family-oriented and undeniably loving, intertwined with frustrated, heartbroken and anxious qualities. He occasionally has a few philosophical outbursts too and while some may deem it drivel, it’s actually a refreshing (albeit revealing) look at the harsh truths of love. The roundness of the character must have been a hard feat to pull off but Gosling does it with complete justice.

Williams is the perfect counter-part for Gosling. It has been a while since I have seen such a onscreen great couple, complementing each other so well. As the somewhat love-cynical Cindy, Williams captures this woman struggling with her relationship and growing evermore bored of the same old married routine perfectly. Another little star of the film was Faith Wladyka who plays Frankie, Dean and Cindy’s little girl. She is just adorable. For such a young age Wladyka can really act, there is this fantastic energy between her and Gosling (though I do think he has a lot to do with this). I didn’t doubt their relationship for one second, it was lovely to watch and completely endearing to see how well they interacted with each other.

Director Cianfrance is either one smart man or just incredibly lucky. He decision to take the script away from Gosling and Williams encouraging them to improvise was brilliant, and his method behind capturing the different stages of their relationship was also inspired. The scenes when Dean and Cindy were first becoming acquainted were filmed first. This meant the fresh, exploratory and tentative vibe they projected was honest; Gosling and Williams were truly trying to get to know each other and were careful what to say, as one would be at the start of a relationship. Then in preparation for married life, Gosling and Williams lived together for a month in the house they were later filmed in. They spent a lot of their time grocery shopping, cooking dinner and learning to pick fights with each other.

This method acting has worked wonders with overall quality and character development within the film. Gosling and Williams seemed completely at ease and natural around each other in the ‘later stages’ of their relationship, just like that of a married couple. Due to this, Blue Valentine, in my opinion, is one of the most realest and relatable relationships I’ve seen projected onscreen. Everything about the way Cianfrance had decided to approach the film was spot on.

Blue Valentine refrains from cliches yet this is a story we are so familiar with, probably because it is more closely aligned with real-life love than any other romance films so far. It depicts honestly what Hollywood’s blockbusters avoid and isn’t afraid about upsetting the norm. From times of true elation to times of deep heartache, the film manages to capture the most identifying factors of this relationship between Dean and Cindy, making it one of the best romance inspired films I have seen to date. Blue Valentine is the tragic romance to rival all tragic romances.

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by Derek Cianfrance.

Running time 112 minutes.