Title: Song to Song
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender
Runtime: 2 hr 9 mins
What It Is: Faye (Mara) is woman floating through life in the music scene in Austin, TX. She is on again and off again with music producer Cooke (Fassbender) but really loves BV (Gosling) a musician just trying to make it in the very same, convoluted scene. As Faye tries to figure herself out she will have to still continue to navigate the land mines of love she’s set for herself. Love, betrayal and the youthful ennui all permeate through Faye. She has no way to project her emotions to BV thanks to Cooke’s emotional manipulation.
What We Think: Malick again has us viewing the character almost like we’re watching real people through a fog at a distance. They’re not real, but they have this illusion of reality. It’s a superficial form of the human experience complete with big houses and no responsibilities. From behind the camera, we don’t get anything outside of the basic shots he’s been giving us. Tons of fish eyes lens including a cameo by paintings in fish eye lens and a shot of a painting of a fish with a strange emphasis on his eye. A bit on the nose yeah? This has more wispy voice over and shots in the water. Same ole same ole. It’s like Malick will find any way to shoot his characters in the water? The trailer for Tree of Life has seven separate instances of water in 2 minutes. The trailer for Knight of Cups has twelve in that same time, and that doesn’t include the shots around the water with no characters physically in it. There are only three shots in the trailer for this, but the film feature far more. It’s schtick at this point.
Our Grade: D+, It is slightly better than Knight of Cups but not much better. There’s more dialogue in it and the story is a bit more coherent. Nonetheless, it’s old hat and it’s ridiculous. I can say that this is an improvement over his previous films in the last decade. I cannot recommend this. It quite literally had me yawning on three separate occasions as I watched it. Save yourself the trouble and just shoot a bunch of stuff with your smartphone. Take some of it and shoot some with fisheye lenses. Edit it together with celebrity cameos from punk rock legends and voila! You’ve just made Song to Song!