Blue Valentine and my alternate life

I’m not an avid movie watcher but once in a while I catch myself in the mood to watch one. Last night was one of those days. Ironically, I spent a lot of my undergraduate time critically analyzing film through my Spanish major. I knew film terminology in Spanish before I knew them in English (some I still don’t know in English, some I’ve forgotten all together).

Blue Valentine did not shy away from the color in its name with the subtle and not so subtle use of the color blue. Eg the paint Dean uses to paint to house, which stains his hands and is (arguably?) the focus of the moment Cindy holds his hand after the fight in the car. Or the blue of the future room where they spend a not so pleasurable night. Okay, enough blueness. My undergraduate days of writing papers on symbolism in film are over.


In my alternate life, I am a movie music director and Questlove is my mentor. That’s the reason for this post. After watching the movie, I got deep into my feels, and created a quick playlist of songs which would sustain the feeling I felt through watching the movie. Although I’d say the Grizzly Bears did a great job on this one (yes, I look up the music credits at the end of films) I’m adding my two pennies and a quarter worth.

Penny and the Quarters: You and Me

Okay, this is my cheat song. The story behind this song and how it ended up in the movie is so special.

Bon Iver: I Cant make you love me/Nick of Time

Justin Vernon got me deep into my feels. In my scoring capacity, I think I’d place this when they are at the motel as Cindy closes the door between them.

James Vincent McMarrow: Cavalier

This song made me shed a few tears the first time I heard it. I may have shed a tear or two while watching Blue Valentine.

Damien Rice: 9 Crimes

An oldie, but one of those that really tugs the right strings. This would play when Cindy is at the clinic.

Sampha: Happens

There is no way I’d have an in my feels moment without World Peace, AKA Sampha. But I think this would fit well at the end of the film, when Dean is trying to fight for their marriage.

James Blake: Limit to our love

I just like this song. But I guess it would work as an outro.