Song to Song Movie Review
Song to Song Movie Review Metadata
Kicking off this year’s SXSW film festival is Terrence Malick’s erratic love poem to ATX, Song to Song. A film that ditches conventional storytelling to swim in it’s own pond of fisheye lens and hopelessly floating narrative.
The movie documents the love triangle between Rooney Mara’s character, a musician/songwriter and her wealthy music executive in Michael Fassbender. She credits the relationship as “paying her dues,” but it is clear the union isn’t exclusive. During one of the mogul’s lavish home parties, Mara meets Ryan Gosling’s character and they instantly fall for one another. He is a fantastic live musician who is courted into a record deal with Fassbender, who doesn’t seem to mind Mara’s preference.
Mara and Gosling’s relationship is actually quiet beautiful, until it isn’t. She can’t escape her feeling for Fassbender, and she cheats with him. Naturally, Gosling is devastated, but finds solace elsewhere. Meanwhile Fassbender is courting Natalie Portman’s character. She is the doe-eyed Texas cheerleader-type who falls for the successful executive, but spirals downward as she becomes more trapped by his lifestyle.
Some other stuff happens. Malick ends the movie.
I can only describe Song to Song as nothing short of strange and boring. From long poetic camera angles to jarring shifts in perspective. From vague narration by the cast, to the vague dialogue between them. It’s all just wasted opportunity. Cameos by the likes of Holly Hunter, Patti Smith, Val Kilmer and many others are frustratingly short and pointless. The audience around me grew incredibly uneasy, until some simply walked away.
For the better part of two hours, Malick takes his followers on an adventure only his mind could conger, that only he and his rabid fanbase can find entertaining. For the rest of us, those of us chatting in long lines at SXSW, Song to Song was an utter waste of time and conference opening feature.