Former model Agyness Deyn delivers a striking performance as a spirited young woman coming of age in early-20th-century Scotland in Sunset Song, Terence Davies’s sweeping adaptation of the classic novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
Growing up in rural Aberdeenshire, the daughter of a cruel Presbyterian father (Peter Mullan) and downtrodden mother (Daniela Nardini), she experiences joys and tragedies – Kevin Guthrie’s passionate local suitor providing a measure of both – but proves over the years as enduringly resilient as the land with which she so passionately identifies.
As you would expect from the maker of Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, Sunset Song is slow. Very slow. There are stretches when it is as dull as porridge, but others when it achieves a lyrical intensity as Davies’s rapt camera swoons over a gleaming wheat field or Deyn’s equally luminous face.
Certificate 15. Runtime 130 mins. Director Terence Davies
Sunset Song is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Metrodome.