7. Blue Valentine
Unbeknownst to itself, Blue Valentine is a disaster movie. A familiar, idyllic world is built and with gradual, exacting precision the very devices that brought that world into existence necessitate its undoing. Few movies justify their structures as this movie does, especially in an age where frenetic, free-association editing has become so commonplace. With every chronological jump, this movie forces the viewer to reevaluate what was said before the previous jump, and the one before that, and the one after, to see that the end was programmed into the beginning as plain as cloudless day. In perfect concert with the recession of Ryan Gosling’s hairline, Blue Valentine reveals love’s crushing ugliness and how it grows from the one place in the world it shouldn’t.
This movie has a beyond awful opening scene. The forty-odd scenes that follow are incredible, incredibly candid, incredibly vulnerable, and incredibly true to life. Listing the instances of palpable humanity in this movie would take too long to list. Same goes for genuine humor. Same goes for understandable ill-will and childishness. Same goes for the list of listable emotions and their respective responses. Hopefully, this selection of dialogue will convey what I’m trying to convey.
EXT. PARK – DAY
Cyrus: Your hair…it’s like a dying tree reaching for heaven.
5. The King’s Speech
Aside from Amadeus, period movies usually make my cells groan and roll their cellular eyes. The King’s Speech did not do this. This movie affected me on an emotional level I cannot seek to explain. Whether this was a consequence of adroit manipulation or bona fide artistry is up to debate, but I could really care less, because I really cared. It’s like I am that stuttering king, yet I have to watch that stuttering king, and both of these me’s are incapable of remedying what assails the other, the other being both me and the me outside of me recognized in my being another being, and it’s difficult and it’s great all at once over a pretty long time.