Optimum Releasing has taken UK rights from The Weinstein Company for Blue Valentine, and will co-distribute the film with TWC.

The UK release date is set for Jan 21, 2011.

Derek Cianfrance’s poignant drama examines the evolution of one couple’s relationship. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star.

The film has been a festival favourite since premiering at Sundance 2010 and being selected for Cannes; it recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival. It is also being touted as a potential awards contender.

Harvey Weinstein said: “I am so pleased to be back in business with Optimum having enjoyed successes across titles such as Fahrenheit 9/11, The Orphanage & Wolf Creek together, they are perfect for this movie. Michelle and Ryan give career-defining performances which are a pleasure to behold”

“Adding Optimum to our international distribution partners on this film is a major ‘win’ for all involved – we’re proud and privileged to be bringing it to UK audiences with their help,” said David Molner, chairman of Incentive Filmed Entertainment.

Optimum CEO Danny Perkins added: “We are incredibly proud to announce Blue Valentine today; this is a film we discovered through The London Film Festival & felt incredibly passionate about distributing in the UK. We look forward to working with TWC not only to release the film but to mount a successful awards campaign that this outstanding film so richly deserves.”