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Guinevere
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Reviews & Ratings for
Guinevere More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Moving, witty and well acted.

8/10
Author: anonymous from L.A.
17 April 1999

All of the characters were honestly portrayed and I think that Ms. Wells has put together a very moving and appropriate piece. The dialog is witty and very natural. Plot and dialog aside, this film is worth watching for the performances alone! Stephen Rea and Jean Smart are both amazing and anyone who had doubts that Polley is bound for greatness should see this film!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Stay away from this awful film!

2/10
Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York
12 December 1999

Guinevere, for which I had high hopes, is a disaster. The basic story line (young woman falls in love with older man) is not the problem. The problem is that we are supposed to accept the premise that Harper Sloan (Sarah Polley) is an insecure, naive, helpless young woman. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but swallowing this nonsense is out of the question. We are told to believe that Sarah Polley, at age 20, needs something or someone to appreciate her for what she can become.

Sarah's character, Harper, is a beautiful, wealthy, college-educated resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. There is no way in the world she would still be this uninformed, inexperienced, and helpless. She has done well enough at college to be accepted into Harvard Law School. If we are to believe the film, she is incapable of any intelligent or creative thought or action. From what college did she graduate? Was she asleep for four years? Was she asleep for 20 years?

The only scene with any hint of reality or intelligence was the one in which Harper's mother, played well by Jean Smart, confronts the older man. Sarah Polley is beautiful and talented; she is wasted in this turkey. [For a film in which the director utilizes the talents of a young actor, avoid Guinevere and see Natalie Portman in Anywhere but Here.]

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A great performance

6/10
Author: taratula
2 December 2000

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!

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst movies I've ever seen

1/10
Author: Sigrid Jakob from New York
13 April 2000

I couldn't believe how awful this movie was. It was virtually free of redeeming features. Poor Sarah Polley desperately tries to save the thing singlehandedly but with lines like that nobody can.

These were some of the things that really grated: Complete absence of likeable characters (he a sad lech, she a dimwitted girlie, her family standard-issue clichZd stiffs, and a pathetic rent-a-bohemian crowd whose role in the movie was decorative (as in house plants) rather than integral).

A plot anyone could have filled in after the first five minutes Dialogue that would have been embarrassing in a 70s movie (the old art vs commerce debate - please!; quaint words like 'capitalism' and 'bourgeoisie'; "I am studying your form" - aaaaargh) Generic feel-good scenes straight out of Newton cigarette ads Cheesy, unironic music Complete ignorance of the principles of photography (photographers do not work like that). Perhaps excusable if it had been made by an older guy - but a woman? Girls, we can do better

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

I love to hate this movie. Utter cheese.

1/10
Author: Timbo-25 from Philadelphia
8 October 2000

Astonishingly horrid, hackneyed drivel. I couldn't believe that the actors 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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Crizzap

3/10
Author: sideshowbob210 from United States
23 August 2010

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Thoughtful, Funny, Sad, and Heartwarming...

Author: cbk (cbk@cc.usu.edu) from Utah
25 July 2001

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

a little disturbing but some great acting

Author: Linda from seattle, wa
21 March 2000

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very good performances and inspired casting.

Author: JBrrymre from NYC
25 October 1999

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.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sarah Polley's film all the way!

Author: postmanwhoalwaysringstwice from usa
27 November 2004

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.

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