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Faith Wladyka

Ambivalence Replaces Passion as a Marriage Collapses in 'Blue Valentine'

The best of intentions can’t rescue a relationship that has run its course, a lesson learned through tears, small explosions and passionless embraces by Dean and Cindy, a young married couple watching the embers of their romance turn cold in Blue Valentine.

As is often the case in a union soured by time and subtle estrangements, neither husband nor wife seems eager to admit that their marriage has been reduced to a tenuous living arrangement, maintained mostly for the benefit of their 6-year-old daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka). Dean (Ryan Gosling) pretends not to notice, afraid to ask the hard questions that Cindy’s ambivalence begs.

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