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|Index||61 reviews in total|
Good movie. Sarah Polley is a natural actor. Her flare for comedy is almost contageous. Her dramatic skills will have you reaching for a hankey. Uma Thurman had better watch her back, Sarah Polley has what it takes to cover the emotional scale...See this movie, you'll see what I mean.
Sarah Polley more than holds her own as the star of this interesting and quirky film. Gina Gershon seems much more natural and likeable than usual here, and Stephen Rea is a bit understated in his performance. Jean Smart has a wonderful turn during a monologue to her daughter (Polley) and Connie (Rea). Intelligently written, stylishly directed.
I can't say exactly what, but something is missing in this
movie. Poor Connie. I think he gets less out of the
relationships than the Guineveres. Maybe I like things "tied
up" too much, but I wish we'd seen a little of Harper's work so
we could judge just how well Connie taught her. A scene of her
in a gallery or studio somewhere surrounded by her work as she
answers a ringing telephone (presumably with Billie on the other
end) would have been satisfying--no dialog necessary, just a
look of sadness on her face. Whatever else, this movie sure
spurred some dialog between my 25-year-old daughter and me.
Interesting that (along with another reviewer) I saw the connection between the Stephen Rea character, Connie, in this movie and Herman Wouk's Noel Airman in the 50's novel "Marjorie Morningstar" and talked about that as we walked home. And as big a bitch as Harper's mother was, she had it right as she saw through Connie. Beautifully acted by all principals!
Writer/director Audrey Wells, who would go on to make 2003's "Under the Tuscan Sun" as well as the recent "Shall We Dance", directed Sarah Polley in 1999's "Guinevere". Wells' forte seems to be characters in search of romance who find it in unexpected places. It was the 'ugly' girl in "Truth About Cats & Dogs", Italy in "Tuscan Sun", and the older man in this film. That older man is played with wild abandon by Stephen Rea, often inappropriately stealing the show. Ignoring Jean Smart's histrionic heavy scene later in the film, and the control Rea's Connie has over Polley's Harper, this is Sarah Polley's film. What make this film work is its sensitivity and subtly, especially toward Harper's youth, naivete, and uncertainty in love and life. It's a sweet film about self-discovery at any age, and although it gets a bit moody toward the end, it works well as a date movie.
This is a murky, unfocused little film. It is clear that Audrey Wells is a talented writer-director, but I felt a lack of assurance in the execution of her story. However, Jean Smart delivers a brilliant performance that enriches the film, making it memorable. She nails every single SECOND of the film she's in; her monologue towards Rea is a devastating piece of acting that was shamefully overlooked by the Academy. This woman is one of the best actresses of her generation, and if you saw her hilarious, Emmy-winning spot on "Frasier" you know she's got strong comedic chops, too. Give Jean Smart better roles!
Astonishingly horrid, hackneyed drivel. I couldn't believe that the
and filmmakers--who are ostensibly a part of an artistic community of
sorts--would portray "bohemians" in such a cheesy way.
And what the hell was with the cutesy dance scenes with car-commercial music in the background? Did someone tell the director this would look cool? I puked. Every "romantic" scene was equally unbearable (except for the sex scenes which were tasteless and disturbing).
We all know people who think they are sophisticated, intelligent, and avant garde, but are actually vomitous, narcissistic poseurs. They will love this "art film." You should avoid it like the plague.
this movie is a little disturbing at times, but, the characters are
interesting and, although they are unlikable at times there is some
exceptional acting going on here.
steven rea is fantastic as this aging, washed up photographer who has seen fame and fortune pass him by and is faced with an ego that remains famished for attention. at times in this movie you can't help but feel sorry for him, the countless humiliations he goes through, but, he is such a raging drunk, so totally cruel and irrational, sympathy at times is difficult.
sarah polley is nothing less than etherially beautiful, although her girlishness is a bit overwrought at times. she giggles uncontrollably for the first third of the movie as if she's never held a conversation before (which, i guess, perhaps she hasn't) but then, she really matures before you and comes into her own. she is as yet an untapped talent despite her previous performance in "go".
jean smart is, i think, the biggest surprise of this movie. being so used to seeing her in silly roles as a brainless southern lady with the depth of say, vanna white, it was entirely refreshing to take her in as a real bitch-on-wheels. her sadistic cruelty directed at connie for seducing her daughter briefly gives her a quality of the righteous mother protecting her child. but, any hint of a mothers altruism is destroyed when she turns her rage onto the one she is seemingly there to defend. this particular scene is one of the most powerful of the film.
all in all, some excellent performances and a good story. if you liked "high art" you'll probably like this too.
Crappy film posing as art. Older man, younger woman. Why does she want him? B/c he manipulates her constantly by promising to teach her the art of photography that throughout most of the movie she has no interest in learning. He calls her Guinevere, as he calls all his "pupils". She continues to let him call her that even when learning of all his other "pupils". Realistic in the way that the only way an older man could get a young girl to satisfy him and support his unemployment is through intense, cruel manipulation of a hopeless wanderer with the self-esteem of a gnat. The end was not realistic in the slightest. Loved Sarah Polley in "My Life without Me" but she did her career injustice by doing this film. And her grill looks so messed up.
After seeing the mixed reviews of Guinevere on IMDb, just as British tv was
about to show it, I thought I'd give it a go. I liked it, although I can
see why some reviewers felt it was disturbing, offensive, and pretentious.
Like so many of Stephen Rea's performances, he gives Connie a nervous edge
which makes you believe in him and go some way to understanding why he had
gone through life with this succession of young girls he simply refers to as
'Guivevere'. The focus of the film is squarely on Sarah Polley, playing
nervous Harper Sloane, nearly 21 and a square peg in the smooth running of
her law-obsessed family.
This is a film about love and art, and understanding, and of a growth into something else (Harper at the end of the film is so unlike she was at the start that Connie must have been for the good, or at least that is the message that is being given out). The film reminded me of Jane Campion's 'The Piano' in a lot of ways, and was so obviously the work of a woman (writer and director).
Rea and Polley are superb. The real killer for me was the fantasy sequence at the end which was bizarre and exceptionally moving. 'Guivevere' is a hidden gem, and long may little gems be made in the movie world.
Thoughtfully written, well acted, provocatively true to life... this is a
movie for the intelligent, mature audience, not a movie to appeal to the
lowest common denominator. Those who are too lazy to think (or just unable
to!) won't "get it" and will condemn it because it did not hand them an
answer on a platter. Those who thought about the story rather than merely
reacting and who dug into the emotions found level after level of story and
enjoyed the irony of the fact that even the most intelligent among us
frequently do something we may later view as stupid. Even so, those
"stupid" things help shape who we are, and may be as important to the
formation of who we are as the "correct" choices we also
Worth the ticket and worth buying it on DVD when available.
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