Unfinished Song—Directed and written by Paul Andrew Williams/ Starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston/rated PG-13/ 93 min
Bifocal Review Written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich and The Other Guy
(B) I just felt like this film was a copycat combination of QUARTET and AMORE. It didn’t have the exuberant spirit of QUARTET, which I so admired, because of the impending death of one of the characters. AMORE’s depressing story of the declining health of an elderly couple mirrored the decline of a terminal patient (played by Redgrave) in this film. No need for a spoiler alert, here. Redgrave is terminal from scene one. I would like to have seen a little more humor, like those moments in QUARTET, but there just weren’t enough. In spite of these great performances, I came away disappointed. Although, I must admit the ending was quite emotional and provoked a teary response from many in the audience, including myself. It was fairly predicable, but not enough to ruin some of my favorite scenes, which come near the end. I won’t tell you what these are, because they might actually be spoilers. I can’t give this one more than two binoculars. If you loved Amore and Quartet, and don’t want to watch them again, then wait for this one to come to video.
(OG) Touted as film by the same people who made QUARTET last year, this has similar themes and actors, but let’s face it…this is NO Quartet. First of all, one of the things I loved about Quartet was that nobody died. It was refreshing to have a movie about elderly people doing interesting things, falling in love and living life without resorting to the obvious and inevitable. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this movie, but I did notice the similarities and for me, this was not a favorable marketing point. One of the important themes is that “there is never enough time.” That is not lost on me, but I don’t think you need to be old to get the message (or even send it). On the other hand, the acting was excellent, and I have to admit that I did get a little teary-eyed a few times in the places where (I’m assuming) the writer-director had intended for my tear ducts to be stimulated. Naturally, properly placed music with sappy lyrics always gets an emotional response from any human who has not had his frontal lobe removed. So far, mine is still in tact. I get this one two binoculars out of four.