Song One

Song One | Directed By: Kate Barker-Froyland | Rating: 6/11 |

Song One - In A Theater Near YouWhat can be said for Song One? A film that’s great in concept and mediocre in execution. A film that indie music fans will adore and old school Anne Hathaway fans will rejoice in seeing her once again in a romantic leading-lady role (she also co-produced Song One). But do you need to rush out this weekend to a theater near you? Not at all, this is definitely a film you can wait for home video/streaming release.

With that said, Song One is a beautiful independent film. It captures the essence of a music connection; how music can change someone’s perspective, effect their mental outlook and bring two different individuals together for a common purpose. People often say “music saves;” Song One shows you how and why. And the best part, it doesn’t tie it all up in a pretty bow at the end. This film is real and it’s appreciated.

The story is a journey of self-discovery after a traumatic family experience. A pseudo ‘How did I get here?’ and ‘What do I do next’ type thing as Franny Ellis (Anne Hathaway) returns home when her mom (Mary Steenburgen) calls to inform her that her musician brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield) has been hit by a car. Franny spends the length of the film trying to dig into her brother’s psyche to surround the now coma patient with familiar sounds and smells, thus reconnecting to her family and finding herself along the way.

Keeping to the independent vibe, all the camera shots were done handheld. The lighting was impeccable (almost astonishing) considering the crew only used whatever natural lighting was found in their surroundings. That’s quite the accomplishment since most smaller music venues are often dimly lit with an overuse of red lights. The soundtrack and underlying musical tones cater to a very Hotel Cafe crowd (that singer-songerwriter, indie-folk demographic), with all performers (sans the main character whose material was written by Jenny Lewis & Johnathan Rice) being real artists. You’ll see appearances by Sharon Van Etten, The Felice Brothers, Dan Deacon and more.

It’s an independent film for the indie music fan.