This is a film I thought sounded interesting. A woman suddenly told she's terminally ill decides to take the last months of her life to live in luxury and pursue her desires and dreams. What I found lacking here was full plot development and depth. We don't get to see much of Mel before her diagnosis and rapid transformation of her life. The plot unfolds rather quickly and comes to a neat, almost cliched ending. I thought the acting was really good and the character likable, but the film seemed self-indulgent at times... long moody ambient guitar score pieces and the main character just hanging around her loft nude for a long while before ordering new furniture and clothes. That could have been cut a bit to leave more room for developing her pre-illness character and enhancing the plot twists. I would give this 2.5 stars if Amazon allowed half-stars, as overall it was just sort of average, from my perspective.
Have you ever had a bad day? Poor Mel Wilder (Saffron Burrow) has one of the worst days of her life when she finds out that has terminal cancer, loses her job and is dumped by her boyfriend. She goes into a deep state of depression but eventually decides to live out her final two months of life in lavish excellence. This sounds like a great beginning to a wonderful story. Instead, it's nothing more than the highlight of a hum-drum film. Mel rents a fancy penthouse, maxes out … more
If you haven't already noticed, the reviews for The Guitar are all over the map. Clearly this isn't a movie for everyone, and I confess that at about 40 minutes into the film I was wondering if it was even for me. But two days after watching it, I'm still haunted by Saffron Burrows' performance and the incredibly subtle way the story unfolds. Melody Wilder (Burrows) experiences what has to be trifecta of life altering events, all within one morning. First her doctor (played … more
I would have done the same. The movie started out with a great plot and a great actress. Mel Wilder learns that she has about 2 months to live. What does she do? Rents a lavish penthouse in NYC, buys anything and everything, becomes involved with the delivery man and the pizza delivery girl and learns to play the guitar. I would have done the same! Those first 30 minutes were excellent. But, about the middle of the film, it all went downhill. The film tries too much to make everything too perfect. … more
Actress Amy Redford's directorial debut,The Guitar, pivots on a potentially risible concept made palatable by a charismatic cast: an attractive woman discovers she's dying, maxes out her credit cards, and indulges her every materialistic and sexual whim (and yes, Amy is Robert Redford's daughter). But what sounds like an art-house version ofThe Bucket Listoffers its own unique charms--at least for those who don't take it too literally. Moments after Melody Wilder (Saffron Burrows) finds out she has inoperable throat cancer, she loses her job and her boyfriend, leaving her alone and broke in New York City (Janeane Garofolo gives her the bad medical news). So, she abandons her basement apartment and moves into a cavernous loft, where she orders fancy outfits and furnishings, throws the refuse out the windows, and dines on take-out while dreaming of the red Stratocaster she coveted as a girl. Soon Mel’s life revolves around her new stuff and the kindly individuals who deliver it to her: the married Roscoe (Isaach de Bankolé) and engaged Cookie (Paz de la Huerta). All the while, the willowy Burrows, much like Ali McGraw inLove Story, makes listless and pale seem more glamorous than sad, but just as tragedy gives way to fantasy, Mel returns to reality once her credit runs out. As a how-to guide for the terminally ill,The Guitarwon't win many points, but as a metaphor for spiritual emptiness, it gets the job done.--Kathleen C. Fennessy