Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Sylvie's Love Review: A Blend of Striking Classic Style and Modern Sensibilities

Tessa Thompson	...	Sylvie Nnamdi Asomugha	Nnamdi Asomugha	...	Robert Eva Longoria	Eva Longoria	...	Carmen Aja Naomi King	Aja Naomi King	...	Mona Wendi McLendon-Covey	Wendi McLendon-Covey	...	Lucy Jemima Kirke	Jemima Kirke	...	Countess Tone Bell	Tone Bell	...	Dickie Brewster Alano Miller	Alano Miller	...	Lacy Regé-Jean Page	Regé-Jean Page	...	Chico Lance Reddick	Lance Reddick	...	Herbert John Magaro	John Magaro	...	Sid Ron Funches	Ron Funches	...	Tank Ryan Michelle Bathe	Ryan Michelle Bathe	...	Kate Erica Gimpel	Erica Gimpel	...	Eunice MC Lyte	MC Lyte	...	Mikki

Release date: December 23, 2020
Running time: 99 minutes
Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aja Naomi King, Jemima Kirke, Tone Bell, Alano Miller, Erica Gimpel, and Lance Reddick with Wendi McLendon Covey and Eva Longoria
Written and Directed By: Eugene Ashe

In Sylvie’s Love, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a saxophonist, spends late nights playing behind a less-talented but well-known bandleader, as member of a jazz quartet. Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), who dreams of a career in television, spends her summer days helping around her father’s record store, as she waits for her fiancé to return from war. When Robert takes a part-time job at the record store, the two begin a friendship that sparks a deep passion in each of them unlike anything they have felt before. As the summer winds down, life takes them in different directions, bringing their relationship to an end. 

Sylvie's Love has a fantastic old style that is evident from the start.  The film is not only set in the summer of 1957, it feels like a film from 1957 and that is a good thing.  The colors are bright and remniscent of a technicolor style, the sound effects feel classic and exagerated, and the entire movie has a wonderful film grain that gives it a classic feel.  The whole style is striking and sets the tone wonderfully.  And the music matches this classic feel, with some perfect jazz music accompanying the scenes.  Really, the whole package of this film is simply phenomenal and will make you appreciate just how much effort went in to making the movie feel both fresh and classic.

Eugene Ashe	...	producer Nnamdi Asomugha	...	producer Jonathan T. Baker	...	producer (as Jonathan Baker) Emmet Dennis	...	executive producer Jay Gaines	...	co-executive producer Akbar Gbajabiamila	...	executive producer Gabrielle Glore	...	producer Bobbi Sue Luther	...	executive producer / line producer Arinze Okwuadigbo	...	co-executive producer Obinna Okwuadigbo	...	co-executive producer Matt Rachamkin	...	executive producer Sidra Smith	...	executive producer Joe Suarez	...	associate producer Tessa Thompson	...	executive producer Matthew Thurm	...	producer Carl Daryl Washington	...	co-executive producer
And after you fall in love with the style, you will fall in love with the cast.  Both Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are perfect as a cautious but intense couple.  Their romance is so innocent at times, and it starts with a budding friendship before moving to more.  But it is not just the stars who shine in this film, although the stars are really fantastic.  The supporting cast feel like perfect transplants from the 1950s and add plenty of support and intrigue to the story.  And some of the extra characters are really fun to watch.  Wendi McLendon Covey in particular is a fun addition as she plays an over the top TV host who is more outspoken than you would expect from a person at this time.  

And examples like that are what make this such a great film.  It has a blend of old style and modern sensibilities.  Those are dulled somewhat for the film due to the time period, but you still have some more current ideas that creep into the movie, such as a woman having a career away from her husband and a female TV host telling dirty jokes.  It feels so fresh and fun that it makes for a wonderful film when placed against the classic backdrop.  And during this story, it also confronts some difficult life decisions and situations.  How much do you want to sacrifice for your happiness and what if that sacrifice causes pain to someone else?  But that being said, there are a few minor issues with the story, including that it feels like the romance starts and stops a little too quickly.  But these are all minor issues and shouldn't detract you from this otherwise wonderful film.

Sylvie's Love feels like a blend of modern sensibilities and a old time charm, with fantastic performances, wonderful music, and a striking classic film style.

Watch it.

classic jazz black black film movie movies love drama romance comedy 1950s silver screen

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Sylvie's Love will be released on Amazon Prime Video on December 23, 2020.

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