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Movie review: 'Unfinished Song' drags without Redgrave's glow

Published July 25, 2013 3:55 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If the 2007 documentary "Young@Heart," which followed a senior-citizen choir singing rock tunes in Massachusetts, wasn't sentimental enough for your tastes, the fictional version — called "Unfinished Song" — is syrupy enough to serve on pancakes.

Terence Stamp stars as Arthur, resident crank in his English suburb, whose only light comes from his wife, Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), a cancer patient whose one creative outlet is the neighborhood seniors choir. When Marion dies, Arthur is at a loss, especially with his adult son (Christopher Eccleston), and it takes the choir's sprightly director, Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton), to get him back into the world.

Redgrave, like her character, is a dynamic presence when she's there and sorely missed when she's gone. Aside from her tender performance, there's nothing writer-director Paul Andrew Williams brings to the proceedings that isn't trite and sappily melodramatic.

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'Unfinished Song'

Opens Friday, July 26, at area theaters; PG-13 for some sexual references and rude gestures; 93 minutes.