A Love Song Image

A Love Song

By Rob Rector | July 28, 2022

As direct as its title, Max Walker-Silverman’s A Love Song is the antidote to the summer blockbuster. The writer and director celebrates life’s simple pleasures while quietly reflecting on larger themes of loss, determination, grief, and the resilience of human will.

A Love Song follows Faye (Dale Dickey), who seems to have winnowed her life down to bare essentials. Parked at a campsite nestled within the Colorado mountains, her days have a languid consistency to them: extract crawdads from her trap in the adjacent lake, heat up a pot of coffee, spin the transistor radio dial to a random station, and spend the rest of the time identifying the chirps from various birds that flutter by.

We find out that Faye is anticipating the reunion of her childhood crush, Lito (Wes Studi). He had promised her a visit, but no actual date has been determined. It has been decades since their last encounter, but Faye seems to hold onto hope that their meeting could perhaps ignite a long-thought-extinguished fire.

In the meantime, she is visited by characters straight out of a Wes Anderson film: a group of siblings awaiting Faye’s departure so that they may access her campsite, a postman who delivers his mail via horse, and a charming couple who set up their camp at a nearby site. With each encounter, we begin to wonder if Lito is indeed the film’s Godot and that Faye may never receive that fateful knock on her trailer’s door.

“…Faye is anticipating the reunion of her childhood crush, Lito.”

But, as promised, Lito does arrive, bringing with him all the charming awkwardness one would expect from two people who have lived their entire lives since their last meeting. First-time filmmaker Walker-Silverman understands the caliber of his two leads and leaves the heavy lifting to them. Dickey and Studi are overwhelmingly endearing throughout A Love Song, and their ages give their minimal conversations heft. When they speak of the pain of losing loved ones, their faces reflect the years of emotions they’ve both experienced and held back.

A film featuring an older protagonist in a frill-free, off-grid life will undoubtedly elicit comparisons to the outstanding Nomadland. While both films take their time to stop and smell the wildflowers, this romantic drama presents a more linear narrative. Faye is there for a reason, and the film allows the character to reach closure on her terms.

As she has already demonstrated in films such as Winter’s Bone and Hell or High Water, Dickey is capable of conveying much through a simple shift of her eyes, a sly half-smile, or a fidget of her stance. Walker-Silverman allows the actor to flex her physical prowess through long, dialogue-free stretches. And when Studi arrives, he seems to effortlessly slide into the same emotional groove, adding warmth, resonance, and underlying yearning to their rekindled relationship.

The main actors infuse A Love Song with a sanguine authenticity that keeps things simple narratively. However, it speaks volumes about love, loss, and the desire for connection, however fleeting, and whatever stage of life one is in.

A Love Song (2022)

Directed and Written: Max Walker-Silverman

Starring: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

A Love Song Image

"…speaks volumes about love, loss, and the desire for connection..."

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