Sunset Song

Sunset Song ★★★★★

An invigorating blend of old and new, both challenging and dynamic, uniquely sweet and sorrowful, Sunset Song deserves to be celebrated. This film has a soul, a deeply felt emotional core that reveals itself over the course of Davies well earned two hour run time. He employs formalist techniques; perfect symmetry, painterly landscapes and overtly authentic interiors, and blends them seamlessly with fresh and vibrant postmodernist touches. The wind, birds, mud and crickets provide a soaring score; the subtlety underpinning every line of dialogue, every dramatic quarrel is swiftly emphasized by their smallness relative to the sweeping landscapes. Davies' core idea is something I haven't seen since Westerns of old, the awareness of consistency, of the eternal. People, their relationships, triumphs and tragedies come and go but the land, the earth beneath them remains. It's stoic in tone, reminding us that all we have to do is make the best of what we have, remain thankful for what we have and take pleasure in the moments we later recognize are invaluable. It's a beautiful film that recognizes the merit in suffering, the necessary strength we need to derive from it. This is one of those films that cuts you so deeply in such an offhanded way you don't realize it until the credits roll.

Sunset Song is one of those films that feels absolutely necessary. Terence Davies' sensibilities are so starkly contrasting to the cinematic world in general right now, so patient and content it feels like a return to a time when dramatic narratives dominated the attention of film lovers everywhere. Reports indicate it was a tumultuous process getting this made, Davies notoriously draws a smaller audience and there's no superhero to be seen in this. It's a small miracle, this film, and one that ought to be enjoyed by everyone, not only as a palette cleanser but a cinematic song that stirred me to my core.

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