The Weinstein brothers have released another little gem of a film, the sweet and poignant “Unfinished Song,” now open in limited release. (In Sacramento it is playing at the Tower Theater.)
A heartwarming story about how music can inspire you, “Song” stars Academy Award® nominee Terence Stamp as Arthur, a grumpy pensioner who can’t understand why his wife Marion (Academy Award® winner Vanessa Redgrave) would want to embarrass herself by singing with her local elderly choir. The group, led by the youthful Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton,) sings unconventional pop songs like “Let’s Talk about Sex” by Salt-N-Pepa.
Marion’s local choir bears a more than passing resemblance to an actual American geriatric choir group, “Young@Heart,” profiled in the outstanding 2007 documentary of the same name. (Rent it if you get a chance, it’s terrific.)
Shot in England’s County Durham, “Song” displays the intimate qualities of small English towns, made all the more poignant by Arthur’s inability to reach out to anyone but his wife. He’s never really connected with his son James, played very nicely by Christopher Eccleston, and has only a superficial relationship with his granddaughter Jennifer, (Orla Hill.)
“Unfinished Song” might have a contrived feel with lesser actors, but the performances from Stamp and Redgrave are a joy to see. Their rhythm as an old married couple is absolutely authentic.
I highly recommend it.
The Bottom Line: “Unfinished Song” will look just fine on DVD, but do yourself a favor, and see it now. Don’t bother to bring the kids and grandkids, this one was made with us in mind.
Rated G-13 / 93 minutes