Written by Taylor Baker
Max Walker-Silverman’s “A Love Song” straddles multiple cinematic stylings from a quirky (Wes) Andersonian tinged reclamation of a buried relative to the language of slow cinema found in lingering moments on a gorgeous landscape staring off into space. Dale Dickey plays Faye, a widow who used to fly bush planes in the forest service whose husband passed away seven years before we enter the story. Lito her childhood sweetheart played by Wes Studi, exchanged letters with her after his wife passed away. In those letters, they agree to meet up at campsite number 7 along the side of a lake. Which is where we find Faye as the film begins. Reading her night and day books, spinning the dial of an old battery-operated radio, and brewing coffee for an indeterminate amount of days.
Dickey’s portrayal in front of the camera is engrossing, the lines of her distinct face and the arthritis of her knuckles as she fishes crayfish out a lake evoke an unassuming emotionality. There’s doubtless plenty of conversation to be had about how lovely it is to see a film star a woman that decades ago never would have been considered as a lead actress in a romantic film. But that seems reductive to the breadth and emotionality of the piece, the choices, character, and style that Dickey and Walker-Silverman hem the film in with. The buzz and chirps, of insects and birds, the ripples of the lake, the postman walking on foot alongside his mule, and Faye’s chance encounter with a shepherd as she hikes up the foothills of the mountainside. “A Love Song” isn’t just about the past romance she’d shared with Studi’s Lito, but seemingly about her place in the world, and acceptance of herself. It’s unassumingly gorgeous and sincere filmmaking, and sometimes that’s more than enough.
“A Love Song” was screened as part of the 2022 edition of the Sundance Film Festival.
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