Movie Reviews

Review: Song to Song (2017)

Remember how literally just a few days ago I said I was struggling to name 5 movies that I really didn’t enjoy this year so far? Remember how my list was half-hearted because I didn’t truly hate any of them, I was just disappointed by them? That I actually missed hate-writing about a movie? Turns out the movie gods were listening that day, because they delivered Song to Song.


I’ve heard that Terrence Malick movies are often controversial, and a quick check on IMDB confirmed what I thought – until now I haven’t seen a single one of his movies. I gotta say, there were none that really shouted out to me either, but there was no way I could ignore Song to Song. Here’s what I knew:
– Music was a strong feature (I’ve been spoiled by John Carney movies)
– It was set in Austin, Texas (I got to go there for work once and had an amazing time)
– The cast was excellent (Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling & Michael Fassbender)
– It was described as a modern day love story

What could possibly go wrong?

It all started out okay to be honest. It felt a bit qwirky, a bit weird. It was a little raunchy too, so ticks in all the boxes from me. My eyes struggled to adjust to the fact that no single shot seemed to last any longer than 5 seconds, but I thought I’d get used to it. I had over 2 hours of movie to get used to it!


About 20 minutes in, it all just went to hell. I couldn’t work out what was going on anymore. I thought it was established that Rooney Mara’s character was together with Michael Fassbender’s, but then she fell for Ryan Gosling. It seemed like some weird love triangle, because Ryan Gosling seemed way more interested in bro’ing it up with Michael Fassbender, but then he got married to Natalie Portman and…are you still reading?

This entire movie hurt my head. None of the characters ever seemed to talk much, or even smile. I’m sorry but, how can you fall in love with someone if all you do is float around silently, looking at them with the face and flair of a catwalk model? It’s infuriating!


I actually gave up at the mid way point and turned the movie off. I thought I could be satisfied with not knowing how the story ended, or wasting another hour of my life whilst risking permanent frown lines from the face I pulled the entire time watching. Alas, the next day the completionist in me couldn’t take it anymore and I watched the rest. Did it get any better? No. Was it worth it? I got to see Ryan Gosling make a turkey out of a napkin (actually one of my favourite party tricks) so there was that.

I’m really sorry to actual, legit movie critics who understood this movie and what it was about, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea at all. 1 and a half napkins from me…you can turn them into turkeys yourself, or ask Ryan Gosling to show you how!


19 thoughts on “Review: Song to Song (2017)

  1. I’ve seen two Malick movies, The New World and The Tree of Life, and both caused me excruciating pain. So I understand fully where you’re coming from. I’m waiting for one of those days when I’m feeling extra brave…or just really hating myself…before I try another.


    1. It’s not even that kind of bad where you can make fun of it and still find something to enjoy (like some Shyamalan movies)…it’s just dull!! I’m glad I’m not alone though, I thought I might have been hunted out of blogging town for this post 😀


  2. I can’t with Malick movies. I’ve tried. The New World to me was the least annoying of his films and even that was hard to sit through. What annoys me is I bet the scripts for those movies are really good, but he ruins them (for me anyways) with his shooting style.


    1. That shooting style hurt my head more than the shaky cam shots you see in action movies all the time. I honestly think I would have gotten motion sickness if I saw it at the cinema!


  3. You definitely don’t have to like it. This movie actually had more plot\dialogue than most of his, which isn’t saying much. They’re mostly artistic impressions, like looking at a slightly moving painting, and that can get awfully long after 20 minutes, let alone 2 hours.


  4. Wow, 1 1/2 napkins! The only movie I saw of Malick’s was Tree of Life, and I liked it when I saw it – mostly ’cause I was in a movie theater and just had the patience to sit through the whole thing that day. But all of his movies look the same and I’ve never watched ToL again. The cast is always intriguing, but not enough for me to check it out. Nice review! :/


  5. Tree of Life was, um, weird. But I love dinosaurs, so….oh, I don’t know. Like you, I haven’t completely figured out where I stand with Malick. Thin Red Line is a movie of his that Benny back at WAM absolutely loves and swears by. It’s adapted from a book, so I was thinking it’s less weird. But then again, it’s his shooting style that makes it weird. So there’s that. Anyhuuu Song to Song really sounded like it was going to be a fun, great film! Look at that title! Look at that poster! Look at that cast! Look at that premise! You know what, I want to watch a John Carney movie!


  6. I was just looking at your best and worst lists and saw this was your least favourite movie of 2017. I came to read the full review immediately. I know I am a little late but I am a huge Malick fan so I was interested in what you had to say.

    Honestly, I don’t blame you for hating this movie. Modern Malick is very divisive and a lot of people understandably don’t like this kind of film-making. It isn’t very direct, it abandons a lot of conventional cinematic grammar, and it can honestly be a bit headache inducing if you aren’t in the mood for its style. I remember the first time I watched Knight of Cups by Malick and it gave me a headache. Second time I watched it, I thought it was a masterpiece.

    Anyways, this is a respectable review. As a Malick fan, most of what you say here is something I have heard time and time again. You either like it or you don’t. That is just how Malick is. I do have to say though that Song to Song is my least favourite of all of Malick’s films. But I still like it a lot and I would probably give it an 8/10.


    1. I’m hugely thrilled you tracked down my review! I need to see more of Malick’s work I think to appreciate his style a bit more.
      In a similar kind of way, I’ve loved the movies I’ve seen by Jim Jarmusch, but I can absolutely see why others would hate them!


      1. The Thin Red Line and The New World are the foundation for Malick’s new style without going too overboard on it. It wasn’t until The Tree of Life that Malick REALLY took that style and went off with it. Malick does have a new movie coming out later this year though (at least in America, the UK always gets screwed on release dates and I don’t know how you deal with it because it would drive me insane).

        I haven’t seen much by Jarmusch except that zombie movie from earlier this year that I forget the name of and that I am too lazy to Google. I enjoyed that one quite a bit though. Recommendations for a good starting point? I heard a lot of good things about Paterson or whatever the Adam Driver one is.


      2. Oh you mean The Dead Don’t Die! That was brilliant, probably in my Top 10 of the year for sure. Paterson is good too and probably a good one to watch to find out if Jim Jarmusch is the kind of Director you’ll like because it can be a very dull watch if you don’t. Only Lovers Left Alive is pretty good, too!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.