Unfinished Song

“Grumpy old Arthur Harris (Terence Stamp) bitches about taking his wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) to choir practice. She’s dying of cancer for pity’s sake. Arthur thinks Marion should stay home and forget she has a life, including a grown son (Christopher Eccleston) and a granddaughter. Instead, Marion soldiers on at old-biddy rehearsals run by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton), a young hottie wasting her nights teaching retirees to rock out to Salt’N’Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex.”…. Stamp’s award-caliber performance as a closed-off man on the brink of turning into stone is a miracle of subtlety and feeling. This is acting of the highest order. Redgrave partners him superbly, bringing warmth and nurturing humor to a role she refuses to play for easy tears. Still, her version of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” will choke you up. What Stamp and Redgrave really accomplish here is to paint a portrait of a long marriage without resorting to flashbacks or expository dialogue. It’s in every look and gesture. In the film, a comment is made about the power of a voice being not in technique but in the journey it took to get there. Stamp and Redgrave and living embodiments of that philosophy. Just sit back and behold”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. PG-13. 93 Min.

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