‘BLUE VALENTINE’ (2010)
Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine is the story of a relationship, its joyous beginning and bitter end, told through a narrative that jumps back and forth in time. When they first meet, Dean (Ryan Gosling) is a high-school dropout working for a moving company, while Cindy (Michelle Williams) is a med student, but despite their different backgrounds, they end up dating, with Cindy drawn to Dean’s effervescent, romantic personality. After Cindy discovers she is pregnant (though likely with her ex’s child), they start a life together. The film examines them throughout their years together as the two, once so passionate, grow increasingly irritated and somewhat disinterested in each other. It’s a brutal look at the arc of love, and an honest one.
‘GONE BABY GONE’ (2007)
However one may feel about Ben Affleck’s body of work as an actor, his directorial career has been impressive, a string of acclaimed hits that began with 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, an adaptation of a detective novel by Dennis Lehane. The film follows a pair of private investigators — Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his partner (in work and romance) Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) — who are working on the case of a missing child, a case the Boston police are struggling to crack. As a PI, Kenzie can tap into connections in the criminal underworld that the police can’t, and he soon discovers that the child’s disappearance may be related to her own mother’s shady dealings. Gone Baby Gone is a tense thriller, one that skillfully ratchets up the tension until an unforgettable climax.
‘THE DEPARTED’ (2006)
An adaptation of the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, Martin Scorsese’s The Departedmoves the story to Boston and follows a conflict between the Irish mob and the Massachusetts State Police. Mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) has raised a man named Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) from childhood to become a mole inside the police department. Meanwhile, the heads of the Special Investigations Unit pick Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a recruit from police academy, to drop out of the academy and go undercover in Costello’s gang. Once both sides realize they have a spy in their ranks, Sullivan and Costigan each race to uncover the other’s identity. The Departed has a long and winding narrative, and every scene is fraught with tension…..Read more>>