Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A-Z Movies, U: "Unfinished Song"

Recommended by:
Cindy (friend)

Movie Stats:
Released 2012 (Canada)
British & German, in English
Director - Paul Andrew Williams
Stars - Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston

Plot Summary:
Cantankerous Arthur (Stamp), still reeling from his wife Marion’s (Redgrave) terminal cancer diagnosis, takes comfort in her choir group. Arterton co-stars as the choir’s volunteer director, Elizabeth, and Eccleston as Arthur and Marion’s son, James.

Very minor blue language, plus a rude gesture or two.

Bad Stuff:
In terms of the singing competition, the story seemed pretty unrealistic to me, although many other aspects of the film were very realistic.

I didn’t really like Eccleston in it. He just kind of grimaced and moped through the whole thing.

Good Stuff:
I really enjoyed Stamp’s performance, very subtle and layered.

I liked the underlying story. Major movie companies aren’t keen on telling stories for older people. I suppose it’s not where the money is. But those stories are important to tell, because they’re stories that most of us will live at some point. This particular one really resonated with me.

It had some surprisingly funny moments.

The Verdict:
Man, some movies should come with a “waterworks” warning on the tin. I could tell from reading the description that this wasn’t going to be an easy one for me to get through emotionally, but I wasn’t expecting to be crying from practically the opening scene. I’m so glad I watched this from the comfort of my own living room. Since my mother’s death, I can’t seem to get through films about cancer without bawling my eyes out, and there’s something about stories of long-term partners coming to grips with the fact that someday they’ll lose each other that really gets to me. I guess I can imagine myself in this scenario (most likely my husband losing me, since my family seems to die fairly young) all too well. Let’s just say I barely survived watching this film.

That being said, I really liked it. It’s a good story, very satisfactory. As sad as it is, there are a lot of amusing moments in it as well. I loved the choir’s various song choices. And there are some strong performances. All in all, it was quite well done. 

I give it 4.25 stars.


Patricia said...

To quote your regular comment, "I have never heard of this movie before." It sounds good though. I wonder if I should recommend it to my mother.

Also. Wow! You are on U! That's very close to the end.

balyien said...

I'd never heard of it before either! It's a hidden gem. Do you think it would make your mother emotional and would she like that?

Yep, I've already watched V and W (loathed W to the point where, a week later, I still haven't written the review haha), so only X Y Z to go. Hoping to have it wrapped up by the end of the month so I can move on to AFI's top 100!