Sometimes it's hard to convince yourself to get out to a film you know is going to be depressing—why do they release the serious, dense movies in the winter, when everything is so goddamned gloomy?—but sometimes quality makes the whole experience worthwhile. Blue Valentine is remarkable for its twinned lead performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple whose marriage has passed its expiration date. There's a rawness to Blue Valentine that can teach you something about love the old-fashioned way—by dissecting it. It will leave you sad, but smarter. (See Movie Times: thestranger .com/film)

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