Unfinished Song (2013)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: It's unabashedly sentimental, but thanks to reliably powerful performances from a well-rounded veteran cast, Unfinished Song proves a sweetly compelling character piece.


Movie Info

UNFINISHED SONG is the funny and uplifting story of Arthur (Terence Stamp), a curmudgeon old soul perfectly content with sticking to his dull daily routine until his beloved wife (Vanessa Redgrave) introduces him to a spirited local singing group led by the youthful and charming Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). This unexpected friendship and his discovery of music revitalizes Arthur's passion for new adventures and shows us all life should be celebrated at any age. (c) Weinstein

Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual references and rude gestures)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 24, 2013
Box Office: $1.7M
Runtime:
The Weinstein Company - Official Site

Cast


as Elizabeth

as Brenda

as Sujantha

as Jennifer

as Day Care Nurse

as Heavy Metal Kid

as Playground Monitor

as Choir Organizer

as Male Compere

as Female Compere
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News & Interviews for Unfinished Song

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Critic Reviews for Unfinished Song

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (28)

The crescendo of two resonant careers makes the false notes of "Unfinished Song" forgivable.

Full Review… | July 5, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Shamelessly sentimental, cute to a fault, but the acting is first-rate.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Newsday
Top Critic

The gentle story of a marriage, and of how music can help make a broken heart whole again.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Unfinished Song is full of predictably poignant moments; you'd be lucky to survive the film dry-eyed.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

[A] modest, tear-jerking charmer ... Just don't expect too much more than what shows on its paint-by-numbers surface.

Full Review… | June 28, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp and those voices - their solos contain this picture like carved book-ends, vintage and lovely and still so profoundly of use.

Full Review… | June 28, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Unfinished Song

When singing enthusiast Redgrave passes away, her insular husband, Stamp, reluctantly joins her vocal group as they prepare for a national choir contest.


The plot may seem at the outset little more than "'Pitch Perfect' for pensioners", and will likely be marketed as such, but 'Song For Marion' is by no means a laugh out loud comedy. There's a tender drama about reconciliation, growing old, and facing death wrestling the more commercial choir-contest story-line with the early scenes between Stamp and an unrecognizable Redgrave resembling a gentler take on 'Amour'. The veteran pair are fantastic and, unfortunately, the film loses something once Redgrave exits the proceedings.
Every few years, the British film industry discovers a new market and proceeds to over-saturate it. Ten years or so ago we had a spate of films aimed at Britain's huge Asian community and, recently, thanks mainly to the success of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', we're seeing film-makers cater for an audience that's become known as "the grey pound". Most of these films, however, focus on elderly people behaving like young people, little more than contemporary non sci-fi takes on 'Cocoon'. It still seems to be a cinematic taboo to show old people as they really are, wrinkles and all, if you will.

'Song For Marion' suffers from an awkward juxtaposition of comedy and drama and relies on a cliched story-line but its quality cast make it watchable. The moment when Redgrave sings Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors' to a disgruntled Stamp, despite the cheesiness of such a premise, manages to be one of the most touching moments you'll likely see this year.

themoviewaffler.com
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

Nicely done for a sentimental love story. One wonders how much it would be better if Arthur could have realized his own shortcomings earlier.

It only looks contrived and formulaic, but give Unfinished Song a chance and it warms its way into your heart. Terence Stamp shines as grumpy old Arthur Harris, who bitches endlessly about his wife Marion (the always amazing Vanessa Redgrave) participating in a choir. Marion has cancer, so Arthur thinks she should just relegate herself to being home and forget about everything else, even her grown son (Christopher Eccleston) and granddaughter. But Marion carries on with her passion at her rehearsals run by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton), a young babe teaching retirees the joys of rocking out to 'Let's Talk About Sex' from Salt-N-Pepa. Its Glee meets The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

You may be cringing but hold on. Written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams, Unfinished song is no warmed over Glee. That show doesn't have the fortune of having Stamp, 74, and Redgrave, 76, part of its cast. These two acting legends are at the top of their games, and breathe real feeling and life into this sometimes stale script. The two almost teamed way back in 1967 for a big screen take on the musical Camelot, but Stamp wasn't sure he could ace the singing. But you hear Stamp's voice in Unfinished Song and think 'Bravo'. His is a wonderful voice, especially when singing Billy Joel's 'Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel).

Stamp turns in an award-caliber performance as a grumpy introvert on the verge of becoming forever stoic. It's a performance filled with subtlety and nuance, a superb performance. And Redgrave matches him nicely, bringing warmth and wit to a role a lesser actor may have played for cheap schmaltz. Just listen to her rendition of Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors'. The most astonishing thing Stamp and Redgrave accomplish is their way of portraying a lifetime of marriage without lazy flashbacks. There's a line in the film that a singing voice's real power comes not from its technique but the journey. Stamp and Redgrave personify that journey beautifully. They will leave you in awe.

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