Review: A Love Song (2022 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: A Love Song
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Max Walker-Silverman
Starring: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Marty Grace Dennis
Runtime: 1 hr 21 mins

What It Is: Faye (Dickey) is waiting for her childhood sweetheart Lito (Studi) to arrive. The two have not seen each other since they were kids and life is seemingly to blame. In the shadow of a mountain on the beach of a lake, the two former friends share a night. One of discovery, recovery, and amends. But what will the time between do for these old flames? Will there be a spark?

What We Think: Dale Dickey is absolutely incredible. Her subtle and gentle performance balances perfectly with the western tableau the film is set in. Faye and Lito are filled with the memories and moments of lives lived. Of experiences felt. Throughout their interactions, you can feel the love they had for their former loves, the grief. My god, the grief is FELT. It’s the underlying ghost in the room. It’s the engine that somberly moves the action forward. Max Walker-Silverman certainly knows how to shoot the desert. This film looks simply gorgeous. I think the understated nature of everything here helps establish the overall tone and when speaking tonally there’s an incredible amount of skill needed to pull this simple story off. I can say with all honesty that this film touched me.

Our Grade: A-, I forgot to mention the pitch-perfect counterplay by Wes Studi. He works so well against Dale Dickey. This is perhaps my favorite thing I’ve seen at Sundance 2022. To be fair I’m only a few films in but I stand by that at this time. When this comes out I hope it doesn’t get lost. It’s a beautiful film and deserves as many eyes on it as possible. See this and I know you’re going to be a puddled mess…just as I was. Excellent work Max Walker-Silverman gimme another one soon!