starring Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie
written and directed by Terence Davies
by Angelo Muredda If ever a film deserved to close with not a modest writing credit but an ostentatious "Adapted by," it's Terence Davies's Sunset Song, a characteristically moving and plaintive take on Lewis Grassic Gibbon's 1932 novel about a young woman riding out the turbulent waves of turn-of-the-century Scotland. Davies has now logged more adaptations than autobiographical works, but it's frivolous to guess which strand of his filmography is the more personal, given the way he infuses even the most cobwebbed Great Book with his signature melancholy. For all its literary pretensions, Sunset Song is as steeped in domestic, regional, and national reminiscence--both fond and tortured--as Davies's most ostensibly intimate works, like his acerbic but loving first-person ode to Liverpool Of Time and the City. And though it will surely be deemed minor by some because of its muted register (compared to the more rapturous aesthetic of The Deep Blue Sea), the film is, in its more understated way, as resonant and gutting a statement as any Davies has made about how living means being in thrall to the past.