6.4/10
3,288
42 user 99 critic

Sunset Song (2015)

R | | Drama | 4 December 2015 (UK)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s.

Director:

Terence Davies

Writers:

Lewis Grassic Gibbon (novel), Terence Davies (screenplay)
2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Blackburn Ken Blackburn ... Galt
Mark Bonnar ... Reverend Gibbon
Stuart Bowman Stuart Bowman ... Alex Mutch
Emily-Jane Boyle Emily-Jane Boyle ... Christine
Ewan Comes Ewan Comes ... Newborn Guthrie Twin
Maelly Comes Maelly Comes ... Newborn Guthrie Twin
Ann Overstall Comfort Ann Overstall Comfort ... Mrs. Hemans (as Ann Comfort)
Callum Adams Callum Adams ... Alec Guthrie (as Callum Davies)
Agyness Deyn ... Chris Guthrie
Ron Donachie ... Uncle Tam
Tom Duncan ... McIvor
David Ganly ... Tinker
Niall Greig Fulton ... John Brigson
Caelan Fyfe Caelan Fyfe ... Toddler Ewan (as Gaetan Fyfe)
Jack Greenlees ... Will Guthrie
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Storyline

Spanning the 1910 decade, six years in the life of a girl named Chris, one of the numerous children of a tyrannical Scottish farmer. Years of high hopes and of disillusionment, of mirth and sorrow, of dreaming and toiling, of sweetness and violence, of love and hate, of peace and war. And in the end, the dignified loneliness of a new Chris, a woman who seems to have gone through several lives, now and forever as one with the land, the earth eternal... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An epic story of love, loss and the land that inspired it all.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Mullan also played a farmer on the eve of the Great War in War Horse (2011). See more »

Goofs

At about 55:50 minutes in the main characters are standing talking in the high street as a flock of sheep moves past them. There are two of what appear to be large steel bollards on either side of the road. As the sheep progress through the scene the left hand bollard on screen wobbles as the sheep come into contact with it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode #44.12 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

THE FLOO'ERS O' THE FOREST
(Traditional)
Arranged by Ronnie Browne
Performed by Ronnie Browne
Published by Garron Music
Licensed courtesy of BGS Productions Ltd and released on Scotdisc
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User Reviews

 
A powerful adaptation of a classic Scottish novel, marred by a few WTF?! moments
8 December 2017 | by The_late_Buddy_RyanSee all my reviews

Terence Davies is a brilliant director who specializes in period pieces, dimly lit interiors and fraught family dramas, and it's great that almost all of his films are available for streaming. Unlike "A Quiet Passion," an audacious reimagining of the life of Emily Dickinson, "Sunset Song" is a pretty straightforward adaptation of a classic novel, though not without some distinctive personal touches.

Davies took some heat in the UK for casting a flawless former model (an English one at that) as a rugged Scottish farm girl, but Agyness Deyn acquits herself very well in the role of Chris Guthrie. If he does have a fault though, it's that he seems to think of plot and character as necessary evils, to be dealt with as briskly as possible so he can linger over the atmospherics--the grittiness of daily life, tense family meals and boisterous communal feasts, the beauty of "the lond" (mostly shimmering fields of wheat shot in 65 mm).

If I remember the BBC series from the 70s correctly, Chris's father, John, who dominates the first half of the film, was a more complex personality, a conscience-stricken Calvinist who can't stay away from his wife even after a nearly fatal pregnancy, like an earthier version of a Dreyer or Bergman character. Davies presents him simply as a sex-crazed ogre, which makes Peter Mullan ("Top of the Lake") the obvious casting choice.

Later on, the film's dramatic climax is handled a bit awkwardly: Chris's husband, Euan, and his friends, all neighboring farmers, are shamed by the community into joining up when war breaks out with Germany in 1914--we get to hear the minister sermonizing that "the mon they call the kaiserrr is none other than the Antichrrrist!" We aren't at all prepared for Euan's transformation from a dutiful, loving husband to a randy, foul-tempered bully when he returns for his first leave--a less godfearing replica of the unlamented John Guthrie. A flashback that tells the rest of Euan's story, narrated by one of his comrades at the front, is even harder to reconcile with what's gone before.

Having said all that, I still recommend the film. It's by no means Davies's best, but Chris's story is well told, with exceptions noted, and cinematographer Michael McDonough ("Winter's Bone") does an amazing job of realizing Davies's vision of "the power and cruelty of both family and nature."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Luxembourg

Language:

English | Scots

Release Date:

4 December 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sunset Song See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,995, 15 May 2016

Gross USA:

$159,714

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,302,482
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Spanish dubbing mix)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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