Film Review: Cicada Song

STUDIO: Indie Rights | DIRECTOR/WRITER: Michael Starr | CAST: Lyndsey Lantz, Joseph Bottoms, Kim Reed, Jenny Mesa, Rob Tepper
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 21, 2020 on Apple TV+ and Amazon
SPECS: NR | 77 min. | Mystery-Drama

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie 

Writer/director Michael Starr’s modest independent feature Cicada Song deftly presents a portrait of a regional way of life (in this case, a Missouri farming town) as it weaves a textured and increasingly tense mystery. But the film takes on too much when the woman at its center, farm manager Karen (a resilient Lyndsey Lantz), begins searching for her missing lover Annabelle (Jenny

Kim Reed (l.), Lyndsey Lantz and Joseph Bottoms in Cicada Song.

Mesa) and learns the truth about some her hometown’s dirty deeds involving the migrant community, realty money-grabs and, worse, young children. Still, even as it tries to be a lot of things for its size, Starr’s feature directorial debut delivers with its ambitious narrative, visual punch and earthy performances, not to mention it’s empathetic view of immigrant lives and same-sex relationships. We look forward to seeing more from him. And your eyes aren’t deceiving you–that’s the seldom-seen-in-decades Joseph Bottoms as one of Karen’s clients.


About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.