Blue Valentine: Hadley Freeman gets down

12 January, 2011

Michelle Williams at NY Critics Circle Awards

Michelle Williams at NY Critics Circle Awards

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give two of the most explosive and emotionally naked performances you will see anywhere.

As we enter film awards season this year, a new trick has entered the fray. Cunnilingus: it’s this year’s disabled/abused/gay/mental illness/foreign accent!
While it is always satisfying to see an onscreen acknowledgement that a man might do a little bit more during sex than pump and grunt, I approach this latest cinematic development freighted with qualms, and not just because of the intimation that getting in between a woman’s legs is … edgy and niche… First, it means watching actresses practise, in close-up, at length, their sex faces, which is almost as painful as listening to Nicole Kidman’s English accent in The Hours…
Which brings us back to the point that it is apparently easier, or at least more acceptable, to show cunnilingus between two women than a man and a woman: neither Black Swan nor The Kids . . . were threatened with an NC-17 rating to my knowledge. But then, of course, women don’t mind doing it to each other. They don’t find it so, you know, gross. And it’s probably easier for them, right? What, with their inside knowledge of the area, so to speak. Hadley Freeman

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