A Love Song review – heartwrenching performance in tender portrait of loneliness

Dale Dickey’s first ever lead role is as a careworn woman waiting for a missed connection in a Colorado campsite

Dale Dickey in A Love Song
First lead role of her screen career … Dale Dickey in A Love Song. Photograph: Sony Pictures

Veteran American character actor Dale Dickey gets the first lead role of her screen career in this tender emotional vignette: it is as sad as a country song. She plays Faye, a middle-aged woman on her own who is camping on a dusty site by a lake in the Colorado mountains. Faye is evidently waiting for a letter: the postman keeps showing up and telling her there’s nothing for her. But she won’t move until she gets this important message from a certain someone from her past who wants to meet up.

Faye conveys this to a group of people who, in a quirky-deadpan way, wonder if she wouldn’t mind moving her trailer so that they can dig up a dead relative and re-bury him somewhere else. Faye can’t afford to move to any other spot in case the person misses her. But in case we are thinking that this is going to be a tragicomic solo piece, and that Faye is Miss Havisham, Vladimir and Estragon all rolled into one, her gentleman caller actually shows up: Lito, played by Native American actor Wes Studi. Both of them are on their own these days, but they knew each other in high school, and maybe liked each other a bit, or more than a bit. Either way, these careworn adults are as shy as teenagers around each other now and there is a very human will-they-won’t-they tension as their murmuring conversation goes on into the night.

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