Unfinished Song is filled with a predictable and emotionally manipulative material, handled with such grace and dignity by the cast and director that I was constantly surprised by the film’s ability to move me. Utilizing music and melodrama in such a way that is never overwrought or exaggerated for effect, Unfinished Song is mild entertainment which creeps up on you in profoundly unexpected ways. Even the supporting characters feel very natural, making it very difficult to notice when anyone is “acting.”
Terence Stamp heads up the cast as Arthur, a cranky old man who has become accustomed to his habits and routines with the only person he opens up to, his wife (Vanessa Redgrave). When cancer threatens to take that foundation from Arthur, she suddenly joins an elderly singing group. Arthur is pulled into the group, finding solace in the friendship of the group’s young teacher, Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). Unfinished Song is a film about grief, but manages to keep a light touch on the material.
The music in Unfinished Song is simple but effective, never appearing too polished or unbelievable. There is more heart than talent in the voices, but that works wonders for the sincerity of the film’s story. We are not meant to be blown away by the vocal abilities, but instead get swept up in the openness with which they sing their song.
The DVD is sparse in terms of special features, including only a handful of deleted scenes and outtakes.
Entertainment Value: 9/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Disc Features: 3.5/10