Song to Song

By: Nick Ferwerda

Song to Song is tough to summarize.  Then again, I expect nothing less from Terrence Malick.  The Oscar-nominated filmmaker is known to make, what
can be considered, poetic films that consider plot as a secondary function.  Honestly, I’m okay with that.  It’s different and, every now and then, it’s refreshing.

Set in the background of Austin, Texas’ music scene, Faye (Rooney Mara) aspires to be a singer/songwriter.  Meanwhile, she becomes stuck in the middle of an interesting love triangle between sleazy music producer Cook (Michael Fassbender) and fellow musician BV (Ryan Gosling).  As the loose story progresses, her love life slowly starts to fall apart, resulting in a movie that isn’t short on heartbreak and betrayal.

Song to Song is a very beautiful, well-produced film with some incredible acting.  Mara, Fassbender, Gosling, and the film’s amazing A-list cast (which also includes Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Holly Hunter, and Val Kilmer) won’t disappoint audiences, although some unlikeable characters put a heartless spin on the music industry.  Real-life musicians like Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) have some fun cameos as well.

As far as the plot is concerned, it’s slow and frequently difficult to understand.  Especially when Malick bounces from story arc to story arc, making the overall experience pretty confusing.  Fortunately, Malick wraps everything up efficiently, but comprehending his overarching points is quite the task.

You may end up hating the characters, but you’ll love Song to Song.  Its unconventional approach to a love story makes Terrence Malick’s latest a one-of-a-kind ride.


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Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda

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