Movie Review Of "Song To Song"

This recent movie, “Song to Song,” appears at first glance to be a musical. The movie does have excerpts from some 86 songs, but is far from a musical. The 145 minute movie reflects a movie pattern of Director Terrence Malick, an award winning director, screenwriter, and producer some of whose movies sort of reflect a French word, “etourdie” or scatterbrain, of a scattering of often small, unclear plots throughout a movie. 

There are 4 mostly major characters, a successful rock music producer, Cook (Michael Fassbender) who is a close friend at the beginning of the film of BV (Ryan Gosling of "La La Land" fame), a musician and composer who has some of his music stolen by Cook. They are both interested in a young female musician, Faye (Rooney Mara), but her relationship with BV seems to win her over after many attempts for her to find ultimate reality in her life including her relationship with Cook. A fourth character is an attractive waitress, Rhonda (Natalie Portman), who Cook persuades to marry him, but she is confused by his pleasure-oriented behavior involving other women. 

The movie is mostly a tragedy about younger adults trying to find their self-identities, and fulfillment who may have somewhat shallow self-images. The various song excerpts with some rock music run beside the characters’ various life adventures and trials. The movie is very long and demonstrates poor editing with more than one possible ending. There is some very excellent photography, and happy moments of innocent love among the characters particularly Faye and BV.

Faye seems to reflect in the dialogue that she does not like the scenes of flights of large numbers of bird flocks which symbolically may indicate she is not sure from where she came and where she is going in her life. BV seems to be her main strength although at one point she has a relationship with another woman, Zoey (Bernice Marlohe). Likewise BV has a temporary liaison with an older woman, Amanda (Cate Blanchett). A couple of times, Faye tries to get guidance for living from her father. A confusing scene is with BV visiting his aging father in nursing home, and he is asleep or not responsive to BV’s needs. Among other confusing images in the movie, which seemed out of place with the plots, was BV with a shotgun hunting probably ducks in a wheat field, and a shot of a chandelier among others including some rock concerts and disorientation scenes in crowds. There are some adult scenes which may be objectionable to some patrons.

This movie is not recommended to people having trouble forming their own self-image. It may interesting to young adults on up.


Bob Rittenhouse

I am mostly retired Have had careers as a librarian, high school and college teacher, scientist in the life siences and information science, occasionally work as a Cuyahoga Board of Elections poll worker, have a little consulting business, Rittenhouse Info Trak

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:01 PM, 04.18.2017