Long December Image

Long December

By Chris Salce | October 5, 2023

Thomas Torrey’s Long December is about a musician looking to accomplish his dream of being a notable musician who can provide for his family. Gabe (Stephen Williams) has the opportunity to see his dream come true as he is offered a spot in a traveling band. Although Gabe’s dream is to sing his own songs to the world, Gabe considers the spot as a foot in the door, and it sounds a whole lot better than his current gig as a musician playing background music to Christmas shoppers in a mall. Gabe will not give up on his dream, hoping to show his son that anything is possible.

There have been many films that are centered on starving artists chasing their dreams and their journey to get there. Films like 8 Mile, A Star is Born, Hustle & Flow are all examples of this type of film as they also use music as a centerpiece and as another character to the story. What stood out the most was the music, as it should be when dealing with a film centered around music. Long December matches the feel of the film with the music. Although the music may not seem like blockbuster-type music, it is still very good. The music is mainly of the country rock and folk genre, with a bit of Christmas songs spread throughout the film, but not too much to make you want to puke. And even when there are Christmas songs, they have a folk vibe to them, giving them a very tolerable sound. Yes, I like Christmas music, but when it is Christmas. There is a time and place to be merry. A film taking place in December is perfect.

“…a musician looking to accomplish his dream of being a notable musician who can provide for his family.”

What I felt was lacking in a film about a starving artist is the “starving” part. I felt like there wasn’t much of a struggle for Gabe, the protagonist, other than just taking time to get to where he wants. There wasn’t a struggle to make ends meet, nor was there any strain on any relationship. It never felt like getting rejected or having missed opportunities was really hurting him, other than his spirit slightly. Starving artists usually have consequences for chasing their dreams, and the only consequence the protagonist had was that he would play background music for shoppers at a mall. And it did not seem all that terrible. That being said, the film still had a heart to it.

The heart of the film came from Gabe (Stephen Williams), as it was his dream to make a living making music, not only for himself but for his wife and their infant son. Clearly, his wife was in full support of Gabe pursuing his dream.

Long December is a relatable story for anyone who has ever dreamed and realized how much work goes into achieving their dream. That is most of us. Although the film lacks in creating heartbreaking moments that could have made me route for Gabe more than I actually did, its story hits home enough to want a happy ending for Gabe. The music in the film is a star in itself and allows you to listen to the story through its beautiful melodies.

Long December (2023)

Directed and Written: Thomas Torrey

Starring: Stephen Williams, Charley Koontz, John Mark McMillan, Emily Althaus, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Long December Image

"…a relatable story for anyone who has ever dreamed..."

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