The Movie Waffler New to VOD - A LOVE SONG | The Movie Waffler


A woman waits by a Colorado lake for a reunion with a man from her past.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Max Walker-Silverman

Starring: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, Marty Grace Dennis, John Way

a love song poster

Writer/director Max Walker-Silverman's feature debut A Love Song has the structure of a road movie, with a woman encountering various characters while living in a caravan attached to her car. Except, here the caravan never actually moves, the supporting characters come to our protagonist. Think Nomadland with a puncture.

Like the aging central character of that Oscar winning film, A Love Song's protagonist is a woman who has acquired enough skills through her life to make her self-sufficient. The difference here is that Faye (Dale Dickey) would trade her independence for some romantic companionship in a heartbeat.

a love song review

Pitching her caravan in the gorgeous surrounds of a lake in Colorado, the landscape and sky stretching out before her like a yawning giant's shawl, Faye awaits the arrival of Lito (Wes Studi), a childhood friend whom she describes as a man with "a small silver car and a big black dog." Faye never verbally admits to so much, but we can tell by the smile on her face that she hopes something substantial might come of this reunion.

While waiting, Faye spends her time catching crabs with a makeshift bait, listening to country songs on a radio that "always seems to play the right song," helping locals with car trouble, dining with a lesbian couple, and using two textbooks to identify the bird noises and the stars in the sky. She doesn't realise it, but while waiting for a potential companion she's finally growing comfortable in her own company.

a love song review

When Lito finally arrives, followed a day later by a letter that announces he's on the way, the two instantly bond over childhood memories. They have a charming rapport, but also a hesitant awkwardness. Maybe they were meant to be together at one point in time, but have since missed the boat. Walker-Silverman portrays this not through any dialogue but by blocking, the proximity of his characters to one another at key moments speaking volumes. They're close together in easy interactions like enjoying ice cream together, but when it comes down to figuring out where this is headed the director places his leads a distance away from each other, as though they're two gunfighters about to settle a dispute on main street.

Dickey and Studi are two actors that have been specifically typecast, she for her rugged looks, he for his ethnicity, so it's a delight to see them play two very everyday people. They look like Americans rather than American movie stars, their faces weather beaten but beautiful, much like the land around them. When Lito presents Faye with a bunch of flowers that most of us would mistake for weeds, it sums up the film's theme of recognising beauty where you find it.

a love song review

Ultimately, A Love Song is a love story about falling in love with yourself. Not in any narcissistic kind of way, but in the way so many widows rediscover themselves after their husbands have passed. The film has several memorable moments in which Faye shares the screen with other people, but its most affecting passages are those that see her alone in a beautiful wilderness breathing in the clean air. A Love Song suggests that some us need a companion, but some of us just need to climb to the top of a mountain, to experience true solitude it and find that, actually, it's okay to be alone.

A Love Song is on UK/ROI VOD now.