We went to see this a couple of days ago. A really well made film that alternates between the story of how a couple got together and their break up. In conception a bit like 5 x 2 by Ozon in feel a bit like Cassavettes.
The film is concerned with the subtext and undercurrents of the character’s relationships and both actors add so much to this with believable intimate performances. I thought it was a great up until the ending, which felt a little flat, I’m not sure why. Maybe because the resolution feels like a bad compromise for both characters rather than a positive decision that they make. Though it was probably the right one given the state of things! Also the end titles which are glossily animated felt very artificial and Hollywood, pasted on the end of this social-realist drama.
However the performances are so engaging and kudos to the director and actors for that. I really think that both actors are supremely talented. Michelle William’s bares her soul and Ryan Gosling gives real depth to what could have been a one dimensional character.
I read that the director wrote the film twelve years ago and when it was finally green light felt it was so stale that he wanted the actors to improvise each scene around the scenario instead. I think this is what gives it such naturalism. Also he made them live together and separately in character for a time, which seems pretty unusual. Overall a film of great performance and tone.