see ryan and michelle in their golden-globe nominated performances.

by ali hoffman

Six years ago, everyone we know (and their mothers) fell shamelessly in love with Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. Since then, we've all waited patiently for the Canadian stud to sweep us off our feet again (and again, and again). So we think it's only fair we tell you the truth: If you're hoping for a straight-shooting romance, Blue Valentine is definitely not for you.

Cross-cutting between two time periods, the movie essentially tells two stories:

1. The story of Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) falling in love.

2. The story of Dean and Cindy falling out of love.

Both stories are beautiful at times, painfully honest at others, and together- like most relationships- they make for a true whirlwind of emotions.  

Co-written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (a documentary director until now) Blue Valentine feels very real and raw.  (The film's original NC-17 rating  - it's been changed to R - probably references the candid nature of the movie.)   In the end, owing greatly to Gosling and Williams' incredible performances, Blue Valentine is whole lot more impactful than a sappy love story - even The Notebook.