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UNFINISHED SONG (review)

song_for_marion_ver4UNFINISHED SONG
Written and Directed by Paul Andrew Williams
Starring Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Vanessa RedgraveArthur: You know how I feel about enjoying things.

From the very moment UNFINISHED SONG begins, you know exactly where it is going to finish and every single stop it’s going to make along the way. Writer/Director, Paul Andrew Williams, constructs his script about one older man’s acceptance of his wife’s passing, with every cliche you can possibly imagine. Fortunately for him though, he has two brilliant, veteran actors, Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, doing their absolute best to transform his familiar scenario into something real. They may not be enough to make the film itself memorable but they do save it from being entirely forgettable.

Stamp plays Arthur, a crank of a man, who begrudgingly brings his cancer-ridden wife, Marion (Redgrave) to and from her glee club practices. He is the type of man who shuts himself off from the entire world, except for her. Only she knows who he is behind his stern exterior. Redgrave is exceptional. She clings to the little life she has left with every ounce of strength in her and at times, she sounds as if she will not make it to the end of her sentence. When she passes, Arthur must move on and Stamp carries Redgrave’s torch as gallantly as he can. He just isn’t given as much of substance to do with it.

Arthur never liked Marion’s glee club but in order for him to find the joy in his life without Marion, and in order to keep her memory alive as long as possible, he must find his singing voice. He also has a troubled relationship with his only son and helps the choir teacher (Gemma Arterton) with her love life when he isn’t busy grieving or practicing his lyrics. By the time Arthur actually gets to the part where he must sing a UNFINISHED SONG, everything is in a very calculated place for a full emotional release. Seeing that moment coming a mile away though certainly takes away from its impact but Stamp himself, still moved me to tears.

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