Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Now on Netflix: Sunset Song (2016)

Sunset Song movie poster
Sunset Song (2016) - Written and Directed by Terence Davies; Starring Agyness Deyn, Kevin Guthrie, Mark Bonnar, Peter Mullan.

By Kenny Howell

Sweeping stories have gone by the wayside over the years.

There have been attempts to capture stories that take place over several years, often with love stories involved, and usually set against war backdrops. Nowadays, they seem to focus more on the war aspect instead of the people involved, mostly because people don't have the patience anymore.

The Scottish epic Sunset Song does focus on the people, in particular Chris Guthrie, a woman who grows up under the rule of an abusive father, a farmer in a tough world right around the turn of the century. We see Chris come of age, escape her father, and start making her way on her own. She faces all kinds of hardships, but perseveres through. She meets Ewan, and they fall in love, start a family, but World War I, which is right around the corner, threatens the stability she has finally made for herself.

That's a pretty short description for a movie that is over two hours long, because Writer-Director Terence Davies takes his time and lets the story breath. Some people have labeled this film boring for that reason, it is a bit slow to develop, but deliberately so. Davies lets you get immersed in Chris' life, as you should, to truly feel how she lives. The changes in her life are gradual, and as a viewer you live them along with her. It's really quite stunning, beautifully shot and a welcome return to a style we need to see more often.

Sunset Song is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***1/2

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