In Blue Valentine (2010), director Derek Cianfrance explored a marriage over several years. This time, his story evolves over 15 years as we first follow a man (Ryan Gosling) who becomes a bank robber, then a cop (Bradley Cooper) who takes a bullet in the line of duty, and eventually both men’s teenage sons as the past comes back to haunt the present. The drama is on a personal level, but as the title indicates, the filmmakers also take a wider scope and portray the politics of Schenectady, New York in very cynical ways. Completely engrossing two-thirds of the story, but the last part has its points as well. Maintains its atmosphere throughout; great cast.
2013-U.S. 140 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Lynette Howell, Sidney Kimmel, Alex Orlovsky, Jamie Patricof. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Screenplay: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder. Cast: Ryan Gosling (Luke Glanton), Bradley Cooper (Avery Cross), Eva Mendes (Romina), Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne, Bruce Greenwood… Dane DeHaan, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali.
Last word: “It’s a movie about what we pass on. I started writing it in 2007 right before my second son was born. I was thinking about what kind of father I was going to become again, and I was thinking about this feeling I’ve had inside me my whole life. There’s this fire inside me that had helped me do many things in my life, but that also was very destructive. And I started thinking that my father – and my grandfather – had that fire and then wondering how far back it went and where it started.” (Cianfrance, Movieline)