Review by Adam Donato
A Love Song is a romance film from writer/director Max Walker-Silverman. This is his first feature as his only other credits are shorts. The film stars Dale Dickey as an older woman who is camping out west as she awaits an old friend from her past. The man is played by Wes Studi and they finally reunite. Having made its debut an official selection at Sundance Film Festival, it’ll be interesting to see if A Love Song will get somewhat of a theatrical run during the wake of the summer movie season. If it does, is the film good enough to stray eyes away from the waning hours of the blockbuster’s run?
This is one of the sweetest and most genuine movies of the year. Dickey’s performance is one of the best of the year no matter what category. There’s very little dialogue in the film and a great deal of the scenes are just Dickey hanging out in the middle of nowhere. Seeing her reactions to things and how she carries herself in general speaks volumes. The dialogue in her scene opposite Studi is good, but the main message being conveyed is through their body language. These stars may not be notable enough to garner mainstream interest, but people may recognize them from some of their older roles. For newcomers, these performances sure are strong enough to peak their interest and maybe dive into some of their older work. This movie may get lost in the summer movie season shuffle, but it deserves to be in the conversation come the end of the year awards season.
The plot is very bare bones, which really allows the performances to breathe. If somebody watched this and said nothing happened, that would be fair. It’s a quick 82 minute movie. Most of it is just spent following Dickey do her everyday living and the people she encounters along the way. This movie is very reminiscent of Nomadland: an older woman living in the middle of nowhere in a lackluster situation dealing with baggage from the past and interacting with her neighbors. Not a bad template to base your movie on. It definitely allows the characters and the performance to take center stage, while also utilizing the setting for some beautiful landscape shots.
It may not have dinosaurs or Navy planes, but A Love Song might be the most human story told this summer. Definitely jump on the opportunity to see this movie if it gets a theatrical run near you. If it does not, this is the type of movie that can be enjoyed just as much on the small screen as well thanks to its wonderful performances and a great first entry from director Walker-Silverman.
A Love Song opens in theaters on July 29.