I was happy to FINALLY find a review about Blue Valentine that I agreed with - all the previous write ups I have come across making Dean out to be a 'beery loser'. Huh? Did we not ALL see the scene on the bridge when Cindy reluctantly tells Dean about her pregnancy and then proceeds to tell him that the baby is not his? Or the scene where is beaten to a pulp by Cindy's former and seemingly rather abusive boyfriend without blinking - or the post abortion clinic train ride where he (again not flinching) stands up to the plate as her champion when she needs it most? Loser?! I don't think so. I appreciate very much the comment about both Dean and the camera unable to decipher the inner head and heart of Cindy - how true. Not only does Dean have no clue about who is wife really is, but (I suspect) neither does Cindy. The dinner scene with young Cindy and her parents shows us the kind of home environment and relationships she grew up in - her interview with the nurse at the abortion clinic confirms that her young adolescent period has been no better - she is a damanged and lost young woman - it made me so sad and I understood her character very much. The only relationships she feels safe in are those with her grandmother and her daughter. Cindy who finally had found a safe and loving refuge with gentle Dean; but both the attempted 'love making' scene (in the hotel room- where he expresses she wants to be raped or hit) and Dean's 'sarcastic' show of 'being a man' at her workplace show that Cindy has an unhealthy and damaged view of masculinity within an intimate relationship. My guess is that the 'missing parts' of the movie would show a Cindy unable to truly let her husband in - and a husband emotionally locked out of his wife's heart by protective fences we could never blame her for having. Personally, I could 'taste' the (warranted) deep resentment she holds towards her father when at last she and Dean return to his house after their disastrous night together and upon entering his house she says, "I don't want to speak to you." Afterall, her father was her original source and example of 'masculine love' and set her up for a disastrous intimate future. My guess is that Dean's 'beering' is his attempt to cope with the lack of emotional and physical intimacy he longs to share with the woman he loves very deeply - the depth of his commitment and feelings for her are evident throughout this film. I totally agree with another comment made about how you cannot help wondering how things may have turned out differently for this couple with some counselling!
In response to:'At the film's emotional peaks, Cianfrance's camera assumes Dean's point of view, getting extremely close to the actress as if that's the way to capture the inner life that's invisible to the eyes of both husband and lens.Blue Valentine may be an accurate, naturalistic portrait of what it's like to be locked out of your lover's heart and head, but in contrast to Gosling's hyper-expressive Dean, Cindy's poker face reads as an imbalance. It's one thing that Dean has no clue who his wife really is, but in a film that purports to study intimacy, the filmmaker could give us more of a glimpse.'