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Cannes 2010: The Euros love 'Blue Valentine' like Nutella; Sony Classics makes this not just another year

May 18, 2010 |  7:55 pm

The Weinstein Co. on Tuesday night unveiled "Blue Valentine," Derek Cianfrance's Sundance hit that earned the rare honor of landing a spot at Cannes (last year "Precious" achieved the feat).

We'll be talking to stars Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in the coming days, so more from them shortly, but the relationship drama played as strongly as one could have hoped. The crowd at the Palais hung on every quiet (and loud) utterance the stars made on screen, and because it was an Un Certain Regard screening, which tends to be a little more informal, they got to salute them on stage as well.

On second viewing, the film more than holds up --  never easy for a character study -- as new subtleties emerged and the movie's unique structure (which has us jumping between a relationship's present and its roots) continued to offer the emotional rush of seeing a couple come together and break up at pretty much the same time. The linchpin of the film, a scene in a motel in which the couple, bathed in blue light, exchange emotional fire, has been unfortunately trimmed a bit from the Sundance version, but it still delivers the necessary wallop.

These are serious actors in seriously meaty roles, and there's every reason to think the academy will continue in the footsteps of both Sundance and Cannes audiences in embracing them. If not, it would be the snub of the century.

In other Cannes news that happens to involve awards-worthy performances, Sony Pictures Classics, which as we reported yesterday was in the lead position to pick up Mike Leigh's textured middle-aged dramedy "Another Year," has officially done so. That means the film will get a nice awards run  itself. And given SPC's knack for landing Oscar performance nominations, particularly on the female side (Melissa Leo, Penelope Cruz, Anne Hathaway and Helen Mirren, just to name a few examples from the past couple years), expect Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville to get some love. A lot more love, it should be said, than Manville's Eleanor Rigby character ever gets in the film.

--Steven Zeitchik, reporting from Cannes, France


Photo: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine." Credit: Cannes Film Festival


Photos: Scene at Cannes Film Festival 2010

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