Once crazy about each other, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) have now grown apart. Cindy is bored and disenchanted with her life while Dean languishes in the emotional emptiness of their sexless, routine life in rural Pennsylvania. As they muddle through their marriage, they hearken back to the golden days when life was filled with possibility and romance. Derek Cianfrance writes and directs this drama.
This is the exact opposite of a “feel good” movie. This is one of the most depressing, uncomfortable films I have seen in a long time. It felt extremely real as I have met these people at different points in my life.
Dean is a smart, funny guy with a good heart. He loves Cindy (or at least the illusion of her). He is faithful but drinks a little too much and lacks ambition. He is content with just doing okay. Cindy with the exception of being in the medical field and not ending up like her parents isn’t sure what she wants. Cindy has made a lot of mistakes in her life but she is trying. She wants to evolve as a person, Dean not as much.
It is a great story as both characters are flawed but not evil. You see two different points of view. It goes back and forth to the beginning of their relationship to the pivotal point where they decide if they should continue.
It was uncomfortable to watch as they argued in public. She would walk away from him and he followed. Her co-workers and family were uneasy about this as it was obvious he had been drinking. She would yell for him to go home and he wouldn’t. Do you call the police in this situation? I think we can all relate to this dilemma.
There is strong graphic sexual content in this film. It was necessary as it does advance the story of these two. I am giving it 4 stars. It is a sad but one of the better movies I have seen. I promise you will feel bad after watching this. I do recommend having a box of Kleenex nearby.
Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.
All the best,
The Film Movie Critic