as Cindy Heller in BLUE VALENTINE (2010)
Dean and Cindy are a young, working class married couple - Dean currently working as a painter, and Cindy working as a nurse in a medical clinic - with a young daughter named Frankie. Despite their relatively tender ages, they are both ravaged by the life they've eked out together and by the experiences they've had leading into their marriage. Dean, a high school drop out, comes from a broken home. He never saw himself getting married or having a family despite falling in love at first sight with Cindy.
"What did it feel like when you fell in love?"
Michelle Williams received her first Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category for her performance as Cindy, a pre-med student living with her unhappy parents and caring for her grandmother, who meets Dean, a young high school dropout. They meet by chance and rush into marriage. At the beginning of their relationship, everything seems so easy. They are young, fiery, and full of dreams. All these scenes are dazzling and magical, and represent perfectly the naivety and the innocence when love grows between two people. Michelle Williams is really terrific (as Ryan Gosling) in these early scenes. She is genuine, lovable and extremely compelling.Years later, Dean and Cindy are married and have a daughter. Dean is currently working as a painter, and Cindy is working as a nurse in a medical clinic, they're clearly not as happy as they once were. From the lovely and positive young woman, she completely transforms herself into the angry and chained Cindy, and yet manages to give her complexity and intensity. She is full of bitterness because she didn’t achieve what she was intended to. Michelle Williams uses all her facial expressions to show her vulnerability and anger. In both periods, Michelle Williams is outstanding, and makes the transition between the two naturally and in very convincing way. Michelle Williams gives a tour de force thanks to a very emotionally challenging role. She doesn’t afraid to appear unlikeable. She doesn’t act, she doesn’t pretend to be Cindy: she embodies Cindy with every fiber of her being. In the hope of resurrecting their troubled relationship, Dean brings Cindy to a motel. All these scenes are powerful, intense and authentic, it doesn't take long for them to realize that the magic isn't coming back. Michelle Williams makes us feel easily her inner struggles, torn between relief and regrets. The chemistry between Cindy and Dean, played beautifully by Ryan Gosling who gives a ravaged and intense performance (he should have been nominated for an Academy Award), is undeniable. Everything seems so true between them, their relationship is not created because it’s real, not fake.
Michelle Williams is certainly the most gifted actresses of her generation. She faces any challenges and gives once more one of the most realistic, convincing and authentic portrayal. She’s compelling and breathtaking, and gives everything to her craft.