**This review may contain minor spoilers**
“Not since Hall and Oates has there been such a team.” – Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling)
Near the end of 2010, Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine was released to theaters. I drove up to Boston to catch a screening as I had not only fallen in love with the trailer for the film, but my interest had shot through the roof at the inclusion of the one the only, Ryan Gosling. This was a time period when Gosling was recognizable from his roles in The Notebook and Lars and the Real Girl, but also from his Oscar nomination for his role as a drugged-up high school teacher in Half Nelson. Upon Blue’s release however, Gosling hadn’t been in a film for three years. Well, the wait was worth it. Not only did Gosling deliver what was for me the best male performance of the year, but Blue Valentine also landed atop my year-end list as my favorite film of that year.