Not knowing what to expect from this film, I was pleasantly pleased with what it turned out to be.
Filmed in 4:3 and black-and-white on a handheld camera, from the outset it had a feeling of a 1940’s musical – the score sounding brilliant and with periods of tap dance and beautiful, short songs in between the fairly sparse dialogue.
The musical scenes presented an intimate setting in various clubs and recording situations with trumpeter Guy and his small jazz ensemble playing some nice swinging tunes – again, complementing the period feel of the film.
As Guy descends into self-obsessed longing for his lost love, Madeline, his smoky music brilliantly echoes his feelings as does Madeline with her melancholic songs filled with desperatation as she tries to look on the bright side.
A simple story but lifted into a different class with a stunning orchestral soundtrack and jazzy interludes, it proved that modern films can still be full of moments reminiscent of the Fred and Ginger classics, mixed with a bit of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker of course.
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009): 4/5