The beautiful, touching “A Love Song” marks an impressive debut from writer / director Max Walker-Silverman. This quietly moving film is a simple story, well told. Featuring strong performances from Dale Dickey and Wes Studi, this is a sweet, honest, and tender exploration of grief, loneliness, resilience, and strength.
Faye (Dickey) has parked her trailer at campsite number seven. She catches and cooks crawfish every night for dinner, her only companion a vintage radio. The highlight of her day is a visit from the mailman (John Way), as she anxiously awaits a letter.
We find out that Faye is hoping to hear from her childhood sweetheart Lito (Studi), who has promised to stop by. They haven’t seen each other in decades, but a reunion may be just what each of them needs. When Lito arrives with his “big dog and little silver car,” the pair spend an evening reminiscing about their past, learn they are both widowed, and share their feelings of isolation.
The script isn’t complex, and Walker-Silverman allows his actors to do the heavy lifting. Casting nontraditional romantic leads gives an insight that’s refreshing, with moving performances that are touched with the weathered charm of a life well lived. A story that features an aging female protagonist is uncommon in itself, and Dickey brings a ton of personality even to her character’s moments of quiet introspection. She and Studi have an enviable organic chemistry that make even the smallest gestures feel substantial, be it the act of picking a bouquet of wildflowers or a guitar session by the lake at sunset.
The film has a feeling of hopeful sadness with Lito and Faye so desperately wanting to feel love again, and I found myself caring deeply about the characters. Their lives are well-worn and well-lived, with a sense of optimism that’s peppered with defeat. There’s an especially steadfast, resilient spirit to Faye as she faces her fears of being alone, learning to embrace her life with a newfound inner strength. It’s a beautiful sentiment that’s elevated by wise and wistful storytelling.
“A Love Song” features very little dialogue yet conveys a moving story about relationships and the need for human connection. It’s a film that is more about the act of feeling rather than one that is telling you how to feel.
By: Louisa Moore