Song to Song

Terrence Malick returns with another blindingly beautiful and formally distinctive piece of cinematic magic, this time set within the Austin music scene

Film Review by Ian Mantgani | 11 Mar 2017
  • Song to Song
Film title: Song for Song
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Haley Bennett
Release date: 7 Jul

Originally titled Weightless, the new existential drama from writer-director Terence Malick stars Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman as young-ish people balancing romance and ambition in the Texas rock music scene. That’s just the superficial narrative description, though: as ever, Malick is more concerned with gamboling gestures, scattered emotions and experimental techniques.

With the moshpits of SXSW in the distance, and reflective cameos from past rock gods like Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten as bookmarks, Malick spends most of this epic of the heart drifting off with his cast to consider what love and life lessons might be in store for partying young people as they traverse a life of hedonism and temptation. Empty wealth, heartbreak and redemption are in the mix, seen in the cinematic style that Malick (and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) have pioneered. In some ways it’s a more straightforward narrative than the intensely personal Knight of Cups, but just as blindingly beautiful and formally distinctive.

Song to Song had its world premiere at SXSW on 11 Mar and is released in the UK later in the year