Sunset Song’s chronicling of rural wartime hardship is nothing we haven’t seen before. Abusive patriarchs, repressed women and traumatised soldiers are unoriginal ingredients, but Davies turns them into something intimate and enthralling.
Chris (Deyn) gives a superb performance in the lead role, bringing a delightful spirit to her scenes, as well as heart-breaking stoicism.
The tone can feel too theatrical at times, but overall Davies is admirably merciless with the brisk passing of time.
DoP Michael McDonough is also impressive, with elegant compositions reinforcing Chris’s belief that her Scottish landscape is more powerful and eternal than any of their lives.
There’s a lot to love in Sunset Song, but there could be even more with a more focused, less comprehensive narrative.
CAST: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie, Ian Pirie
DIRECTOR: Terence Davies
WRITERS: Lewis Grassic Gibbon (novel), Terence Davies (screenplay)
SYNOPSIS: The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s.