For all its obvious flaws that are perhaps emblematic of a relatively inexperienced filmmaker trying too hard to imitate John Cassavetes, Derek Gianfrance’s Blue Valentine still makes for absorbing viewing, particularly for those who are able to immerse themselves fully into the improvisational feel of this muted marital melodrama. This ballad of Dean and Cindy (as portrayed by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams), which shifts restlessly between their disintegrating marriage and sense-memory flashbacks to the couple’s happier times together several years before, is accompanied by a score composed by Grizzly Bear featuring instrumental versions of a number of their songs from Yellow House (2006) and Veckatimest (2009). And not much of a surprise that these supple instrumentals fit in wonderfully as the backdrop to Blue Valentine — with Grizzly Bear’s music radiating the same distinct sense of fragility as the film, as well as providing the roiling momentum for its main characters’ most vulnerable romantic projections: She seemed different. I just got a feeling about her. You know the song comes on, and you just gotta dance? – Keith.
The Blue Valentine OST is out now on Lakeshore Records.