A Song of Love (2022) – Film Review

A love song2022.

Written and directed by Max Walker-Silverman.
With Dale Dickey, West Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way and Marty Grace Dennis.

SYNOPSIS:

In a rural western campground, a woman waits alone for the arrival of an old flame from her past, unsure of her intentions yet coy about hers.

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There’s a first scene during writer and director Max Walker-Silverman A love story where seven-year-old widow Faye (underrated character actor Dale Dickey) has a rare socializing moment within her life as a camping nomad. She enjoys a lovely dinner with two women (Michelle Wilson and Benja K. Thomas), one of whom wants to get married while the other is nervous about that level of commitment, even though it’s over everything her face that she is also in love. Right now, Faye doesn’t have much advice when asked for her opinion.

Considering Faye wakes up every morning with her arm wrapped around nothingness, it’s safe to say she’s still grieving. It might be even fairer to wonder if she wonders if this love was worth it if it meant being left alone and heartbroken for the rest of her life. Dale Dickey wears those emotions beautifully and expressively on his body language, as the silent film often focuses on his daily routine.

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This involves catching and boiling seafood, dealing with strangers (mostly a young girl speaking on their behalf) who would like her to move her mobile home off that particular campsite as they would like to dig up their relative and move the body because the view is no longer pleasant. The latter is the expected quirkiness of a Sundance movie, but it doesn’t necessarily fit here. And it’s not just because Alfonso Herrera Salcedo’s stunning photographs exquisitely capture those vast landscapes and mountains in the distance, making their claim confusing, but because A love story doesn’t do much to connect these stories of death and memory. Even the lesbian couple doesn’t make another appearance until the end.

Faye is at the campsite to reunite with a childhood friend she hasn’t seen in four decades. They have been exchanging letters for some time now; he is also a widower and has given visual clues as to how she will know it is him if he visits her (he drives a silver vehicle and has a large black dog). Editing and scene transitions are another strong point of A love story, as we see a smashing cut to Faye awakened by this dog licking her face. Wes Studi’s Lito (another notable underrated actor) is there, both performers convincingly selling the awkwardness and uncertainty of what to say after 40 years apart.

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Slowly but surely, Faye and Lito begin to reminisce about their childhoods and romances (much of it left vague as Lito was apparently happy to get away from this place) and discuss their current lives, while helping each other to through the grieving process. A love story has poetically moving sequences involving a musical act, but the short little dialogues penetrate deeper. It’s a passive reconnecting story with two supporting players often at the top of their games carrying a lyrically powerful acting duo. Not to mention, there are unforgettable images where characters and natures are one.

A love story may lack depth in its bookends, but its middle part of reunited friends dealing with heartbreak and love after love is moving and heartbreaking. Not that anyone should have needed proof, but it also cements Dale Dickey and Wes Studi as reliable, commanding leaders who have mastered the art of body language and debut filmmaker Max Walker-Silverman as someone to put on Grid.

Scintillating Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the editor of Flickering Myth Reviews. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at [email protected]

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