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Song to Song

Love. Obsession. Betrayal.

Rooney as: Faye
Genre(s): Drama | Romance
Written by: Terrence Malick
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Other Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman
Release Date: March 17, 2017 (Limited)
Production Budget:
Total Worldwide Gross: $1.7m
Filming Locations: Austin, Texas and Yucatán, Mexico

  • In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples—struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress whom he ensnares (Natalie Portman)—chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.

    Production Info

  • There was no script used during the entire duration of filming.
  • Christian Bale was initially set to have a much more substantial role in the film but he ended up working only three to four days on the set. He was ultimately cut from the film as his character was reportedly very similar to Michael Fassbender’s.
  • Filmed back to back with Knight of Cups.
  • Christian Bale, Haley Bennett, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Callie Hernandez, Clifton Collins Jr. and Benicio Del Toro all had roles in the film and shot scenes, but had them removed during the post-production process.
  • The movie was partially filmed during the 2012 Austin City Limits festival and features artists who performed that year, including Arcade Fire, John Lydon and Iron and Wine. Several musicians and bands like Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine, The Black Lips, Lykke Li and The Red Hot Chili Peppers also have cameos in the film.
  • The normally very reclusive director Terrence Malick participated in a rare post-screening interview at the 2017 SXSW festival, along with his star Michael Fassbender and moderated by Richard Linklater. This is one of the only times he has ever granted a public interview.
  • According to director Terrence Malick the first cut of the film was 8 hours long.
  • Shot in 40 days over a time period of nearly two years. The actors were even filmed in a car, moving from one location to the next, just in case it turned into interesting footage that could be used in the movie.
  • Was initially called Limitless, then the title Weightless was announced, until finally its official title Song to Song, was revealed in January 2017.
  • Character Quotes

  • I went through a period when sex had to be violent. I was desperate to feel something real. Nothing felt real. Every kiss felt like half of what it should be. You’re just reaching for air.
  • I thought you had to know the right people… get close to them. The ones who could give you what you need to get through the fence.
  • I wanted experience. I told myself any experience is better than no experience.
  • His hands were in everything. The money, the fame. I thought he could help me… if I paid my dues.
  • I thought we could just roll and tumble. Live from song to song. Kiss to kiss.
  • I wanted to be free the way he was. I went on seeing him. I let myself be smashed.
  • I didn’t believe enough in love. Afraid it would burn me up.
  • I wanted to escape from every tie. Every hold. To have life at any price. Not to settle. To go up… higher… free.
  • I went along like someone in a dream. I knew I had to tell you. Come clean. I didn’t know how.
  • I love the pain. It feels like life. Sometimes I admire what a hypocrite I am.
  • What if I don’t become an artist? Don’t have one life. Don’t have the other. Running around, trying to be somebody. Snatching at life.
  • I don’t like to see the birds in the sky, because I miss you. Because you saw them with me.
  • Am I a good person? Even want to be? Or just seem like one so people will like me.
  • You held out your hand. I took sex. A gift. I played with it. I played with the flame of life.
  • It was like a new paradise. Forgiveness.
  • You wanna go back to a simple life. I want the same. Let nothing come between us. Ever.
  • Faye: You shouldn’t trust him.
    BV: Why not?
    Faye: I just think you should be careful.
  • Faye: You have too much pride.
    Cook: I thought pride was a good thing. People aren’t proud enough.
  • BV: Do you lie to me?
    Faye: I know you always wanna know the truth, but… but I don’t. Sometimes the truth isn’t the right thing to say. You can hurt someone more by saying it.
  • BV: Do you love me?
    Faye: Why do you ask that?
    BV: Because I like to hear it.
    Faye: You don’t like to say it.
  • Critical Response

    Jesse Hassenger, The A.V. Club: At some point, Faye, who wants to “experience” life and resists being tied down, begins dating B.V., while Cook takes up with schoolteacher turned waitress Rhonda (Natalie Portman). All of them take turns at the voice-over mic, but the movie keeps returning to Mara, who is by turns both ideal and awkward as a Malick heroine. An actor of her quiet intensity doesn’t need dialogue to convey her emotions, but she also doesn’t need endless narration, and often sounds uncomfortable delivering it (“I wanted to live… [to] sing my song”). Of course, mastery of all that whispery reflection is a dubious task for any performer. When the movie simply regards her, in all her pensiveness and micro-reactions, her characterization comes to life.

    Tim Grierson, Screen International: As for the female leads, Malick elicits impressively sensual performances, leading to some of the sexiest moments in any of his films — although, admittedly, his freeze-dried tableaux undercut the eroticism. That spark is crucial especially for Mara, whose big eyes are used beautifully in Song To Song, even though Malick never sees the character beyond being a cutesy waif in search of a direction.

    Awards and Nominations

    Below is a list of all accolades Rooney has received for her role in the film.

    NOMINATED: International Online Cinema Awards – Best Actress