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‘Sylvie’s Love’: Movie Overview


Sultry music swells because the digicam swoons over a younger couple in a young nighttime embrace. The 1950s residential New York Metropolis road is rigorously rain-slicked and lined with shiny basic automobiles: an apparent stage set. Gene Kelly may simply have swung on that lamppost; Doris Day may lean out of an upstairs window to sigh at a painted moon. However the canoodling stars of Eugene Ashe’s Sundance competitors title “Sylvia’s Love” are black, which is among the many sole indications that this weightlessly shiny but undeniably charming romance is a product of the 21st century. Even so, have been we to seek out out because the credit roll that the movie had truly lain undiscovered in some studio vault for 5 many years, other than gentle shock that it could make Tessa Thompson fairly a bit older than beforehand suspected, it could truly clarify quite a bit.

Extra even than Declan Quinn’s sumptuously old-school cinematography and the throwback styling and inventory footage exteriors that intentionally mimic the Technicolor romances of previous, it’s the fresh-faced naiveté of the storytelling that feels so anachronistic. For a large number of causes — the demise of the studio system, the rise of the gritty indie, the unfashionableness of melodrama, the antiquarian sound of the time period “ladies’s image” — they don’t make ’em like this any extra, harmless and escapist and scrubbed clear of contact with actual grubby life. However then, given the poor historical past of black illustration within the Hollywood motion pictures of the Golden Age, “they” by no means actually did, and maybe this small act of retroactive redress is sufficient of a cause to make such a wildly old school, fantasy-bubble interval romance.

Thompson, charismatic as ever, performs Sylvie, the strong-willed daughter of kindly music retailer proprietor Mr. Jay (Lance Reddick). At work within the retailer, she catches the attention of struggling (however loopy gifted) jazz saxophonist Robert (a gorgeously honest efficiency from Nnamdi Asomugha), who takes a job within the retailer simply to be close to her. Sylvie, nevertheless, is engaged to wealthy, conveniently absent Lacy (Alano Miller) which is the primary of a number of not-terribly-insurmountable obstacles that the clearly predestined couple hold creating for themselves in order that their love story, which Sylvie dreamily calls “extraordinary,” can hit a couple of pace bumps and we get to have a feature-length film.

Sylvie is obsessive about tv and needs to be a producer, a tough ambition for an African American woman within the late 1950s, one which her father chuckles at incredulously however which truly finally ends up crusing fairly easily for her. In the meantime Robert’s band acquires a vampish new supervisor (Jemima Kirke, inexpertly toggling a cigarette holder). She lands the band a gig in Paris at simply the second that Sylvie discovers she’s pregnant with Robert’s child — info which, in a kind of “solely within the motion pictures” contrivances, she decides to maintain from him so he can fulfill his skilled potential of changing into the following John Coltrane.

5 years later, Sylvie is married to Lacy, who’s nobly elevating her daughter as his personal however who chafes towards her dedication to her job producing a TV cooking present. Robert is an enormous success, and an opportunity encounter inevitably rekindles their extraordinary love. Then a bunch extra stuff simply kind of has to occur, together with a couple of extra acts of pointless self-sacrifice, earlier than Fabrice Lecomte’s lush, appropriately jazz-inflected rating can crescendo in tandem with the rising closing crane shot and a grand “The Finish” can fade up.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/sylvies-love-film-review/13370/ by Cecilia Jones on 2020-01-29T01:29:40.000Z

“Sylvie’s Love” doesn’t need for eye sweet — Phoenix Mellow’s scrumptious costuming and Mayne Berke Thompson’s classic manufacturing design see to that. Thompson’s hairstyles alone, from her Leslie Caron pixie lower to her hairband-embellished ’60s career-woman bob are definitely worth the value of entry. Nevertheless it’s a little bit of a waste of its painstakingly re-created interval that the story is so glib. The turbulent Civil Rights period is represented by a glancing point out of the March on Washington in a telephone name; the on a regular basis expertise of racism is confined to a single banquet scene; and the dawning ladies’s lib motion is roofed off by a hasty shot of Sylvie studying “The Female Mystique.” Wasted, too, is the supporting solid, from Robert’s bandmates to Eva Longoria’s band-leader’s spouse to Connie, (Raquel Horsford) — a sexpottish bottle blonde laughably ginned as much as be Sylvie’s romantic rival. And the plot is a facile confluence of coincidence, typified by a sequence throughout which a personality dies, an engagement is introduced, a life-changing secret revealed, a promotion landed and the seeds {of professional} discord sown, all throughout a single New 12 months’s Eve.

Nonetheless, not each film in regards to the black expertise has to element lifelike hardships, and in case you’re in search of extra texture and honesty, Barry Jenkins’ great “If Beale Road May Discuss,” set in an identical time and place however with an unmistakably modern sensibility, is on the prepared. In contrast, “Sylvie’s Love” appears like a piece of alternate historical past, as if Ashe had clicked his heels 3 times on a studio soundstage in Burbank and wished away the previous 50 years of Hollywood filmmaking — and God, Charles Mingus and Douglas Sirk have been all listening and made his want come true.

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About The Authors

Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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