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Guinevere
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Reviews & Ratings for
Guinevere More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

this movie is better than the tagline suggests.

8/10
Author: snadman
22 September 1999

pygmalian and galateas, eh?: stephen rea as connie, surrounded by a balanced cross-section of beautiful women (in a role many would like to have for real).

we found this a light story that didn't tie everything into a neat, literary weave. (does connie represent arthur, lancelot or just some guy who likes to address his protegees medievally?)

something of a growing-up fairy tale for the newly grown-up.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bittersweet coming of age story, well told and observed

7/10
Author: timhebb-1 from Los Angeles
5 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This comment was motivated largely by the desire to offset those here which casually dismissed or trashed "Guinevere" and, inexplicably, writer/director Audrey Wells personally with unnecessary and unprovoked venom.

"Guinevere" is a fine and engaging tale that plausibly sketches the arc of the relationship and romance between the daughter of a pair of society attorneys of Pacific Heights pedigree and a bohemian photographer who lives life on the edge financially and on the fringe socially. Sarah Polley as the confused but very-well brought-up, faintly rebellious 21-year-old Harper, and Stephen Rea as the 40-ish sometime wedding photographer, Connie, whose charm eventually wears thin, are both well cast and provide exemplary realizations of well-drawn characters.

The entire cast, in fact, is strong and deep, with fine turns from such actors as Sandra Oh, Jean Smart, Paul Dooley, Jasmine Guy and Gina Gershon. The production and cinematography are first-rate as well.

As the relationship deepens and its contours become clearer to both the audience and to Harper, the script deftly plumbs its pleasures and its perils. By subtly adopting Harper's point of view, the film takes us on the same emotional journey that she does, from the initial drunken delight of first love, to the later disappointments and, eventually, the despair.

In the end one feels that Harper, like the sensitive viewer, decides that it was all worth it.

If this engaging, well-crafted, unpretentious film has a weakness, I would point to the denouement, which is reminiscent of Fellini's "8 1/2" by reassembling all of Connie's former loves to bid him an upbeat farewell when he is diagnosed with a fatal illness. Though it presses to induce good will, it doesn't really earn it. This is a writer's escape, a fantasy that retreats from an inevitable reality a bit too bitter to swallow without added sugar.

Despite this lapse, "Guinevere" rewards an attentive viewer richly with this otherwise honest, unblinkered story of first love undone in part by the unbridgeable, ancient chasms of age and social strata.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

it all starts with the writing and here it soars

8/10
Author: Christopher (sweeneysblade) from Toronto, Canada
22 February 2003

I went to see this film originally in the theatres because I knew the actress (Sarah Polley) from her many years of work on "Road to Avonlea," a popular Canadian TV series and because she had attended the same high school I was currently at. I also was aware of the fact her co-star was Stephen Rea, another actor of note.

I went into the movie with no expectations whatsoever. And walked out pleasantly surprised. Something that doesn't happen to often with me and my voyages into the land of celuloid.

It's a film about a young woman who has an affair with an older man who is a photographer. He teaches her some life lessons and how to take photos. (Wow, this description makes it sound bad to even me!) Well filmed - as a movie about photographers should be, interestingly and touchingly written, the film is a statement by its director, though sometimes a little feeble in its voice. Co-starring Gina Gershon (among others) as some of the photographer's ex-girlfriends, the film is rich with characters, has a lively score of world music and captivates.

Personally, I found the ending moving as the characters pontificate on how the meaning of their lives and how to put together their lives on move forward. Well-said with thought-provoking dialogue, the final scenes nearly brought me to tears as the visual imagery soared.

This is a film I loved so much that, when a local video sold off its goods in a closing sale, I HAD to buy. One of only two videos I bought at the time. A film I highly recommend, even if it's not perfect. Definitely a good glimpse into the world of independent film for those that are new to the concept and a pleasant (if not more) experience for those that avidly view them.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A plaintive love it or hate it relationship flick.

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
26 November 2001

"Guinevere" tells of a young woman (Polley) who leaves her stuffy family to move in with a middle aged photo-artist (Rea) living a bohemian lifestyle and ends up sadder but wiser. A technically and artistically good film, "Guinevere" is a coming-of-age flick tinged with more pathos that giddiness which plumbs the depths of a relationship in which the woman becomes self actualized while the male is exposed as an unsuccessful, eccentric, and neurotic womanizer. Recommended for anyone, especially females, into films about unorthodox relationships.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Precisely realized - a movie with heart

10/10
Author: cskoog from Ireland
25 March 2000

David Denby, a New Yorker film critic, maybe the best film critic I know, sent me to this film. It is wonderful in illuminating the strange mixtures we must accept in life in order to learn anything that is worth learning about being human. The film never flinches and is never distracted from this single-minded objective. The director gets performances from her leads that are awesome in their precision for that purpose.

If you liked 'Playing by Heart' or the older Peter Weir film 'Fearless' or Lasse Hallstrom's films or Angelika (sp?) Holland's films or John Sayle's films or 'Eve's Bayou' or even the somewhat more artificial 'American Beauty', there's a good chance you'll like this one. Like these, its art is in the service of showing the kind of learning that happens in those cases when people accept opportunities to realize their humanity.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie.

9/10
Author: wyaduck (wyaduck@aol.com) from L.A., CA
6 January 2000

One of my favorite movies of 1999...a pretty short list. A film like this could easily be botched up, but Wells handled her story and her direction so deftly. I absolutely believe these characters and their relationship. In fact I've known these people and I've seen these relationships. (Another film that I loved which has some thematic similarities is Scorcese's section of "New York Stories" with Nick Nolte & Roseanna Arquette... but this is a totally original film.) Stephen Rea and Sarah Polley were perfectly cast and turn in subtle, touching performances. When Polley has the right role (see also "The Sweet Hereafter"... "Go" is more dismissable) she's brilliant. A lot of nice directorial touches and beautiful shots. The "math problem/seduction" scene was right on the money. Rea urging Polley to show a limb as he photographs her from behind a chair, her finally acquiescing with her leg... wonderful! I kept turning to my wife in the theater and asking, "Do you love this film as much as I do?" She did. The ending had us both choked up. It's a film for grown-ups and the pace takes its time (but it's never boring). This is not a film for the short-attention-span generation or people who go see those SNL spin-off movies. A very slight criticism... I thought some of the stuff with Polley's mother (Jean Smart) felt slightly over-dramatic. Also, I wasn't quite certain what exactly was taking place during the break-up scene. I want to watch it again on video to see what clues I missed. Favorite line from the film (if somewhat paraphrased): "Oh no. You're mistaking me for someoneone who has potential." We need more female directors with chops like those which Wells displays here. I hope she continues to make films close to her heart.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie.

9/10
Author: wyaduck (wyaduck@aol.com) from L.A., CA
6 January 2000

One of my favorite movies of 1999...a pretty short list. A film like this could easily be botched up, but Wells handled her story and her direction so deftly. I absolutely believe these haracters and their relationship. In fact I've known these people and I've seen these relationships. (Another film that I loved which has some thematic similarities is Scorcese's section of "New York Stories" with Nick Nolte & Roseanna Arquette... but this is a totally original film.) Stephen Rea and Sarah Polley were perfectly cast and turn in subtle, touching performances. When Polley has the right role (see also "The Sweet Hereafter"... "Go" is more dismissable) she's brilliant. A lot of nice directorial touches and beautiful shots. The "math problem/seduction" scene was right on the money. Rea urging Polley to show a limb as he photographs her from behind a chair, her finally acquiescing with her leg... wonderful! I kept turning to my wife in the theater and asking, "Do you love this film as much as I do?" She did. The ending had us both choked up. It's a film for grown-ups and the pace takes its time (but it's never boring). This is not a film for the short-attention-span generation or people who go see those SNL spin-off movies. A very slight criticism... I thought some of the stuff with Polley's mother (Jean Smart) felt slightly over-dramatic. Also, I wasn't quite certain what exactly was taking place during the break-up scene. I want to watch it again on video to see what clues I missed. Favorite line from the film (if somewhat paraphrased): "Oh no. You're mistaking me for someoneone who has potential." We need more female directors with chops like those which Wells displays here. I hope she continues to make films close to her heart.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best film of 1999.

10/10
Author: banjo-5 (raab@mindspring.com) from Chicago, IL
19 October 1999

This film features the BEST film acting I think I've ever seen. >Beautifully directed, amazing film photography, and INCREDIBLE >lighting design. Just amazing. Nothing extraneous, each scene >totally succinct and beautiful. Shockingly good film. Really. I >never make comments like that about mov

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Most Beautiful Film I Have Ever Seen

10/10
Author: Crazychatmail-1 from Croatia
22 February 2006

Don't know really what to say about this movie ( except obvious :D ), so I'll just copy the plot line, to complete 10 lines :lol:

This is the most beautiful love story I have ever seen, this is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. It's truly inspiring. The script is superb ( & very intellectual, deep, SHARP! ), direction almost flawless... it's really, really, really, GREAT. It's touching.... oh my Gosh... GREAT! Cast is perfect, & just music! It's discreet Christophe Beck Music ( I just think of Buffy's second season & Buffy & Angel Love Song... ). Really SUPERB movie...

& Here is the plot :D :

Young Harper Sloane meets part-time photographer Connor Fitzgerald. He succeed to impress her, & soon they start to hang out. He wants to motivate her for work ( books, art... ), & soon they begin an relationship/they fall in love...

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

whatever THAT meant

7/10
Author: sissypower from san diego
3 October 1999

Stephen Rea as the on-screen Weinstein surrogate?

Sarah Polley, the Gwennie stand-in?

Jean Smart swaggers into the Bohemian photographer's loft as Eileen Heckart might have done some twenty-seven years ago.

What's wrong with honest work?

Audrey Wells reminds us here in her directorial debut.

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