OnMedia: A tragic "Valentine"
After watching her performance in "Blue Valentine," which opens today at the Oriental Theater, you'll see that Michelle Williams earned that Best Actress Oscar nomination she picked up this week.
The wrenching performances from her and co-star Ryan Gosling as an ill-fated couple are the main reason to sit through this familiar story of the end of a marriage, told through flashbacks to what seem like happier times.
As the story unfolds, Williams' "Cindy" outclasses Gosling's "Dean" on many levels, but their inital connection makes sense. We can understand why they got together. Still, the complicated roots of their relationship provide a clear forecast for the ultimate failure for this couple.
While it can bet painful to watch the disintegration of a relationship that began with much hope and a bit of humor, the charms of both -- and Gosling's performance is right up there with Williams -- ease that pain.
They are real people, both as a couple and separately.
The intensity of the relationship and its breakup initially earned the movie an NC-17 rating, a box office killer. But the MPAA wisely backed off, understanding that "Blue Valentine" is an adult film in the best sense of the word.
While this is the official opening of "Blue Valentine," a sizable local audience got the chance to see it early when it launched last year's Milwaukee Film Festival.
The trailer for the movie focuses it bit too much on the couple's cuteness and romance. But it does offer a sample of the raw and real emotions that drive "Blue Valentine:"
An Outback romance: The story of a far different couple is being screened this weekend at UW-Milwaukee's Union Theatre. Admission is free for the Australian film "Samson and Delilah" at 7 tonight and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday.
"Samson and Delilah" tells the tale of a pair of Aboriginal teens who come together almost wordlessly in a desolate settlement in the middle of the Australian nowhere, who take off on a trek after young Delilah's grandmother dies and other women beat her for not taking care of the old woman.
It's an odd and haunting story, told sparely. That style fits both the stark setting and the two silent young characters.
Here's the trailer from Australia's ABC TV:
Green and gold TV: Channel 4 isn't airing the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, but that's not stopping it from getting into the game next week.
Milwaukee's NBC affiliate will air a half-hour "Packers Extra" next week from 6:30 to 7 p.m., with "The Mike McCarthy Show" filling the timeslot on Tuesday evening.
Another "Packers Extra" will air at 10:30 weeknights," with "The Tonight Show" pushed back a half-hour.
And, a "Packers Extra Special from Dallas" is planned for 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, with Lance Allan, Rod Burks and Jessie Garcia.
If you're up early on Saturday, Food Network's "Grill It! with Bobby Flay" features former Green Bay TV anchor Jenn Karlman, who was a regular tailgater during her time in the Frozen Tundra.
The pair prepare a very un-Lambeau Field menu of wahoo with puttanesca tomato sauce, gourmet wahoo sandwiches, spinach salad and blue Hawaiian cocktails. The menu may be less surprising when you learn Karlman's now living in San Diego.
The episode repeats at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
Here's the video Karlman used to audition for the show:
go see Blue Valentine if you're an actor. all others should avoid. the performances are amazing, but there is really no other reason to sit through 2 hours of an uncomfortable, tense movie, where there really is nothing to be learned.
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