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Sunset Song 

Wednesday, May 25 2016

Though it's based on a Lewis Grassic Gibbon novel, Terence Davies' Sunset Song has an Edith Wharton-esque aura of old-timey misery to it — which is appropriate, considering that his best-known movie in the States was an adaptation of Wharton's The House of Mirth. Chris (Agyness Deyn) is a bright young woman in rural Scotland in the early 1900s who hopes to become a teacher, but who keeps getting pulled back into the horribleness of her domestic life. Her father (Peter Mullan) is an abusive sod whose piety is matched only by his temper, while her otherwise-pleasant courtship and eventual married life with the sweet-natured Ewan (Kevin Guthrie) is shattered when all able-bodied young men are called to fight the Kaiser in World War I. Terence Davies' lush filmic style recalls Terrence Malick, though Davies thankfully does not share Malick's aversion to scripts, characters, broad daylight, and medium-angle camera lenses, some of which are shooting in 65mm for some truly lovely outdoor sequences. Unfortunately, Agyness Deyn's acting chops aren't quite up to the task of carrying Sunset Song; she tries her best, but at times it seems she may have been cast more for the gratuitous nude scenes than her ability to convey Chris' inner life. But she does look good standing in a field at dusk.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


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