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57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 18, 2013
    75
    Unfinished Song moves too slowly for its own good (mourning is doubly taxing in a country where it’s always raining), but it’s a great showcase for Terence Stamp.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    The movie works mostly because of the artistry of its stellar cast and heartfelt script by writer-director Paul Andrew Williams.
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jun 27, 2013
    75
    In the end, then, just 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Jun 28, 2013
    63
    At least audiences who hang in there will be rewarded with Arthur in concert doing a gravelly yet stirring version of Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)". It's one of the rare instances when Unfinished Song achieves a heavenly state.
  5. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Jun 18, 2013
    60
    Shamelessly manipulative, it's a highly effective if not very good film, its success entirely due to the talents of its cast. They bring heart to a script that is unabashedly about pushing buttons.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    The movie, originally titled “Song for Marion,” has more emotional clout than you might reasonably expect from a piece of inspirational hokum.
  7. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jun 18, 2013
    25
    Part end-of-life romance, part grossly manipulative mush, the film tries to stare grief and mortality in the face while practically shitting rainbows.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 1, 2013
    8
    “Unfinished Song” stars Vanessa Redgrave, Terrance Stamp and a young actress named Gemma Arterton in this simple story of two older people in love and how they cope with the inevitable fate that awaits each of them. This is very similar to the film “Quartet” except that it highlights the story of one couple as they try to accommodate the obstacles in life’s path and how music and friendship can mean so much to help overcome or at least deal with the problems they face. This is “I need a hankie” movie but, despite its somber moments, the film helps to elevate the human spirit in all of us and teaches us that support from those within and outside our inner circles can mean so much. Enough cannot be said about the wonderful performances of Mr. Stamp, Ms. Redgrave and, most of all, the charming Gemma Arterton who steals each scene as she lends her support to her chorus of singers and their extended families. I give the film an 8 and predict that, although the word “unfinished” may be in its title, this movie will make most viewers feel very complete. Expand
  2. Aug 6, 2013
    7
    “Unfinished Song” is the best movie I have seen this year since “Amour” in January. Like other films in this genre a lot of tears are shed, couples have been married for 50 years or more, the wife is dying and the husband has to learn how to cope. In “Amour” Emmanuelle Riva has Alzheimer’s and her husband Jean Louis Trintignant is her caretaker as in “Iris” Jim Broadbent had to deal with the dementia of Judi Dench and in “Away From Her” Julie Christie is institutionalized for her Alzheimer’s and her husband Gordon Pinsent deals with her problem, and his, of her not knowing him. In “Still Mine” James Broadbent deals with Genevieve Bujold’s dementia.

    Among other things these films have in common, aside from the wife dying, the husband suffering and learning in their own ways how to cope, are that the leads have all been nominated for an Oscar just as the leads in “Unfinished Song” and “Still Mine” are getting Oscar buzz, which is understandable, as they are all some of the best actors of their generation.

    Terence Stamp made his film debut in 1962 and 51 years ago got his first Oscar nomination and in 1965 was a standout in the title role of “The Collector” for which he won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. With eyes as blue as ever and even with a bald spot he is still one of the best looking men in films and here he also sings. Vanessa Redgrave won an Oscar for “Julia” and has done over 35 stage performances in addition to over 80 movies and a number of television shows and has won accolades for every performance she has ever given. She, too, sings in “Unfinished Song” doing a solo of “True Colors” that you have never heard before and will have you in tears.

    Arthur (Stamp) and Marion (Redgrave) are complete opposites with he being difficult and she being full of life and smiles. From the first shot, and no matter how many times they say “I love you” to each other, you believe that neither ever would, or could, be happy with someone else.

    The screenwriter, who also directed, Paul Andrew Williams, has made a film of cliches such as the estranged son played by Christopher Eccleston who doesn’t seem to have a wife but does have an adorable daughter, Jennifer, (Orla Hill). Though Arthur has time and love for his granddaughter he doesn’t seem to have either for his son. It is never explained but possibly Arthur’s love for Marion consumed him. Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) is a music teacher during the day who conducts a choir of senior citizens in the evening and, yes, every cliche of old people is on the screen. All of the cast gives fine performances but it is Redgrave and Stamp that lift this film above the ordinary. Though neither are singers they can certainly sell a song.
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