Lifetime have done a number of Christmas films centered around music. Quality-wise they have varied and whether they work has always depended on the lead roles, which has always been the case. Some are surprisingly good and others either scrape average or below that. The same goes for Lifetime's Christmas output in general and their overall work. Nobody should watch a Lifetime film expecting anything award-worthy, but they shouldn't be automatically dismissed.
2019 was a variable to unimpressive year for Lifetime (better than Hallmark though on the whole). 'Winter Song' is one of their hits as far as their music-themed films go, and as far as their 2019 festive output goes it's one of the best too. In my view, would go as far to say that 'Winter Song' is one of the best they've done and that it is a beautiful film that is not quite flawless. It is different for them, being more serious in tone and poignantly so, but it is a case of different being done well.
'Winter Song' isn't flawless. It did drag on occasions.
Am another person too who had a problem with Fred's decision making regarding the surgery, which came over as too selfish and unrealistic. It is absolutely very difficult to risk losing such a big part of you, very difficult having that kind of news is like a world come crashing down moment and that is very relatable to anybody who's been there (like me), but realistically in my view a lot of people would put family and health first regardless.
However, 'Winter Song' has a lot that is great. It looks professional, with some slickly framed photography that complements and at its best magical scenery. The music can be a problem in Lifetime films (more so Hallmark though), but it wasn't here and was actually one of the film's strengths. Not only being catchy and emotional but also not being discordant with the mood. The direction has breathing space without being pedestrian and seems at ease with the material.
The script flowed naturally and didn't come over as excessively cheesy, so it was easy to take things seriously, or too schmaltzy that it felt like overdosing on sugar. The story was different for Lifetime, it doesn't follow a cookie cutter formula and is a lot more serious than most efforts of theirs. This is executed with honesty and genuine poignancy, as well as a very warm heart that doesn't get too heavy. The characters on the whole felt real and easy to get behind. The cast are strong, was very pleasantly surprised by Ashanti who gives one of her better faring performances and didn't seem forced or overwrought. The acting honours go to Stan Shaw giving one of the best performances seen by me in a Lifetime film, being one of the few to move me to tears.
Overall, very well done. 8/10.
A Christmas Winter Song
A Christmas Winter Song
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In the spirit of the holiday season, Clio (Ashanti) befriends Fred (Stan Shaw), a former musician down on his luck, and welcomes him into her shop to perform for the customers. Besides their love of performing, Clio and Fred also have their share of family struggles in common. For Clio, she must grapple with the death of her father and whether she wants to have children. For Fred, a reunion with his daughter Mia (Sashani Nichole) is just what he needs to give him hope in his life. Together with the power of music, the two find the strength to overcome their hardships.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
December 15, 2022 at 02:32 PM