Monday, April 16, 2012
Dallas International Film Festival review: Sironia
A surprisingly tender love song to the life of an artist.
Life is what happens when you make other plans. This adage is exemplified in the bittersweet film Sironia (playing again on April 17 at Angelika Film Center Dallas). Once successful musician Thomas (Wes Cunningham) is fed up with life in Hollywood. When he learns his wife, Molly (Amy Acker), is pregnant, they impulsively decide to relocate to a more authentic and real existence in Sironia, Texas, where Molly’s brother Chad (Tony Hale, Arrested Development) and his family reside.
Initially, the tranquil life seems like an idyllic existence, but then reality sets in. Bills begin to pile up and Thomas is pressured into taking a job at Chad’s community restaurant to make ends meet. The lack of time spent playing music and the adjustment to life in Sironia causes Thomas to experience a downward emotional spiral and reevaluate what truly matters to him.
Watching Thomas and Molly adjust to their new life is a poignant experience. We witness their change from carefree adults to parents-to-be. On their journey, Chad serves as a mentor and guide who exemplifies that change does not have to be a bad thing. Oftentimes, it can bring about unexpected opportunities and joy.
Instead of veering too deeply into depressing content, the film is balanced by Cunningham’s music, which served as inspiration for the film. In addition to being the soundtrack, it keeps the film centered and grounded.
Film festivals often serve as a great place to bring attention and recognition to independent gems. Sironia is no exception. Nuanced and endearing performances given by Tony Hale, Jeremy Sisto, and Robyn Lively are memorable, but Acker and Cunningham fortunately stay center stage.
Sironia is ultimately about the struggle to find balance and contentment with all of the curveballs life throws your way. Sironia is a surprisingly tender love song to the life of an artist.
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