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Friday, 19 July 2013 15:33

'Unfinished Song' offers plucky singer citizens

'Unfinished Song' offers plucky singer citizens pastemagazine.com
Written by Martha K. Baker
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For years, the film industry ignored the 65- to 88-year-old demographic on the theory that we did not have discretionary money to throw at the silver screen after our hair turned silver. Now that this demographic is one of the few that still goes to the movies off-line, we're being wooed. 

"Unfinished Song" appeals unabashedly to the two or three elders who like to see people plucking the coverlet on their deathbeds or who like to wallow in sentiment and have run out of Jodi Picoult movies on Lifetime.

"Unfinished Song" belongs to that genre of movie that ties life and death to music and that humps the walker across the lines of good taste. But the producers managed to cast fine actors in the leads, which almost brings the script up to tolerable standards. If anyone besides Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp were playing the leads, "Unfinished Song" would be on the End-of-Lifetime channel, were there one. These two, as the long-married couple, raise Paul Andrew Williams's script just a scosh above twaddle.

The two play Arthur and Marion -- indeed, the original title of the movie was "Song for Marion." She's a member of a choir of elders called the OAPZ for old-age pensioners with Z standing for the S to give them street cred. Anyone who saw the documentary, "Young @ Heart," with the circled "a" standing for the word "at," learned about this choir that belts out heavy-metal and hip-hop as if the contrast between young and old would alone make up for the bad musical compositions and executions. Elizabeth, played by Gemma Arterton, fresh off a run in the "Clash of Titans," leads the choir with verve and compassion. She notes that Arthur stands around outside to take the sickly wifey home after rehearsal, and she tries to get him to join the choir, "for Marion's sake." He does eventually, but the suspense does not kill the audience. 

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