Pros: People fall in love. Michelle Williams takes a shower and gets oral sex from Ryan Gosling.
Cons: People fall out of love. Michelle Williams is sad and does not want her box munched.
Outstanding. Moody and elegiac, simultaneously telling the story of a love affair's genesis and eventual decline. By starting us near the end, then intercutting with flashbacks to when this couple (Michelle Williams & Ryan Gosling) first met six years previous, we are shown how love can fade after time. The greatest thing about it was that in both timelines, I could empathize with each character and how they feel about each other.
Some might think Gosling is portrayed as too much of a redneck loser in the latter half of the movie, but I felt his anguish. He has defined himself as a husband and father, with no greater aspirations in life. But Williams wants more, for herself, and for her husband. She thinks the world of him but is disappointed by his lack of ambition. Neither comes off as a villain.
We are shown how in the past it was his greatest ambition to just be with her, and to be a father to her child. He is totally romantic and perfectly charming in the flashbacks, then utterly clueless in the present scenes, when Williams is obviously distressed by their current state. Their desperate attempt to rekindle their romance in a window-less "future" themed honeymoon hotel suite is a masterful fusion of setting, cinematography, and performance.
I can't think of many films that so perfectly capture the petty arguments that a long-time couple have, where perceived hidden-meanings and a poor choice of words become the main sticking points, preventing any real communication. The mostly guitar-based score by Grizzly Bear was great, along with a few numbers by Gosling on ukelele. I loved this movie. Haunting.