|Index||3 reviews in total|
As we celebrate the official 10th Anniversary of the mumblecore genre,
it's exciting to see the only female filmmaker (to be included in the
cinematic hipster scene) presenting a new film that equals or even
surpasses her landmark debut IN BETWEEN DAYS (2006). This time, actress
Riley Keough, who also stars in the Amy Seimetz's new Starz TV
adaptation of THE GiRLFRiEND EXPERiENCE (which also premiered at
Sundance this year), takes the emotional reigns with gusto as Sarah, a
young mother who is completely caught off guard by the sudden
reappearance of her college friend Mindy (Jena Malone).
Much like So's overlooked FOR ELLEN (2010), which Paul Dano subtly referenced in Paolo Sorrentino's YOUTH (2015), the power in LOVESONG (named after The Cure's song) lies within the character's inability to express his true feelings. Independent Spirit Awards could be on the horizon for this bundle of true love, but more importantly, make sure you see this on the big screen so that you too can be transported into the whirling clouds during what has to be the most breathtaking sequence on a ferris wheel since Carol Reed's The THiRD MAN (1948).
This is taken from my 2016 Sundance Film Festival wrap up.
Lovesong (2016) was co-written and directed by the Korean-American
filmmaker So Yong Kim. It stars Riley Keough as Sarah, a young married
woman who might as well be a single mom. (Her husband is away for
months on business.) Sarah lives in a beautiful home, in a beautiful
setting. She has a great daughter, Jessie, played at age three by
Jessie OK Gray, and at age six by Sky OK Gray. (I assume they are the
director's two daughters.)
Enter Sarah's old friend Mindy (Jena Malone) who lives in New York City. They haven't seen each other for years, but they're still good friends. We get a sense that they're more than good friends, but director Kim is discrete about these things. After spending the night together, Mindy leaves for NYC. The women don't meet up again until three years later.
There was a good movie in here somewhere, but it never made its way out. Both women are moody, taciturn, and passive. As an example, it apparently never occurs to Sarah that she could do more with her life than be a mother to Jessie, and wait for her husband to return home. How about leaving Jessie with a sitter and volunteering for a political cause or for a library? Nope. She just sits home, takes walks, and sulks.
Mindy doesn't appear to have any thoughts at all. She makes an offhand comment about work, but she never says what she does and how she does it. She certainly has a gamine-like charm, but we don't see anything else to recommend her as a friend or as a person.
This is the movie to see if you want a story about two attractive women who don't really connect with each other or with the world. Otherwise, find a better movie and watch that one.
We saw this film at the excellent Little Theatre, as part of the wonderful ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will work well on the small screen.
Lovesong is one of 22 films that had their New York State premiere, or their East Coast premiere, at ImageOut. My compliments to the ImageOut Programming Committee for their great success in bringing these films to Rochester.
I saw a screening of "Lovesong" at Sundance.
When someone sees a film at the biggest film festival in the world, there are involuntary expectations that the film should be something extraordinary.
During the screening, this film made me uncomfortable, disappointed, and even angry. The main characters were so unlikable and uninteresting that I couldn't find any moments of enjoyment. Their dialogue was about as complex as a patch of dirt, and their delivery didn't help. Nearly everything about the film felt as amateur as could be. The end of the film was much better than the dreadful beginning. Some interesting characters emerged and some more advanced forms of comedy were introduced.
It wasn't until hours after that I started to think that the film could've been purposefully horrible. I couldn't fathom that a female director could make such shallow female characters. The film reminded me heavily of "The Comedy".
"The Comedy" is about an unlikable man, or boy if you will, that embraces his "hipster" lifestyle and anti-everything attitude even into his late 30's/early 40's. The movie wasn't enjoyable to a large portion of its viewers. I loved it, but I can understand why. It made fun of a huge population "hipsters" very subtly, masking it's insults inside of unlikable characters. "Lovesong" is appearing to do the same thing, except the joke is on unintelligent women and loneliness that turns into lesbian relationships.
"Lovesong" may be the worst worst film, or the best worst film. It just depends on if this film is a legitimate drama, or one of the best played jokes since "The Comedy".
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