Ordinary Movie, Extraordinary Performances
"Songs in Ordinary Time" is one of those movies which to be truthful is not very interesting, it is the sort of movie which plays out in front of your eyes and before you know it you are half way through and you don't know how you got there. But in a way the reason why you get lost in "Songs in Ordinary Time" is because of who is in it as Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges deliver such wonderful characters that you get caught up in their performances rather than what is going on.
In 1959 Vermont, Marie Fermoyle (Sissy Spacek - JFK) has her hands full raising her three children since her divorce especially as her ex Sam (Keir Dullea) is a drunk and gives her no child support. Enter the charming Omar Duvall (Beau Bridges - Just Another Secret) a drifter who knocks on her door asking for a glass of water and before long has charmed his way into her life as they get romantic. But what Marie doesn't realise is that Omar is a slick talking con man on the run having murdered his business partner.
So story wise, well to be honest "Songs in Ordinary Time" is really not that special yet still enjoyable. We watch as the smooth talking Omar charms his way into Marie's life, supporting her and praising her as well as romancing her whilst all the time playing and manipulating her. So this sets up the possible dilemma as we watch how Marie falls for the charming Omar and does things, such as trying to get a bank loan for him but we wonder whether in the end Omar will end up doing the decent thing or the crooked thing. Of course whilst all this is going on we also have the mystery over the men looking for Omar and his secret past involving a dead body.
Now if that was all there was to "Songs in Ordinary Time" it would be an effective drama but there is more. There are various subplots including Marie's daughter becoming romantically involved with a young priest. But unfortunately whilst swelling the movie to 90 minutes these subplots only end up diluting the story although credit to director Rod Holcomb as he doesn't allow the subplots to become too dominant.
But as I said "Songs in Ordinary Time" is one of those movies where it is the actors who make it and in Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges it has two great actors. They make their characters so real that you feel for Marie as she is innocently manipulated by Omar and Bridges certainly has the gift of the gab and the charm as Omar, in fact this has to be one of my favourite performances from Beau Bridges.
What this all boils down to is that "Songs in Ordinary Time" is not a bad movie as it has a reasonable storyline but it is the performances from Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges which make it so engaging.