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Movie Review: Guinevere

Story: As the name implies, this film tries to be a majical tale complete with life affirming music (although I must admit I fell for the Irish musical interlude), muted, hazy scenes and the hope of something unusual about to happen. However, it is just the classic May-December romance with a 90's twist. The twist being everyone from family to friends to strangers has an opinion about this kind of relationship. It begins with great promise as the 50ish Artsy photographer (but to pay the bills wedding photographer), and the 21 year old he rescues from a life destined to be privileged, average and boring meet and fall in love/lust and then the movie slowly begins to fall into the sappy, shmaltzy zone (and you know how I feel about that!). I wanted to like this film but left feeling like I needed to take a shower. There's something really creepy about some of those May-December relationships.

Acting: Stephen Rea (remember his fabulous work in The Crying Game and all of the other Irish Toubles movies?) is terrific as the photographer Connie Fitzpatrick. He transforms from a 50ish vital, sexy, brilliant, passionate artist (what 21 year old would not want to be with him?) into a 50ish emotionally infantile, drunk, and needy middle aged man (what 24 year old would want to be with him?). Very believable indeed. Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) as Harper (or the latest Guinevere in Connie's stable), is perfectly gawky (although at times annoyingly immature...or maybe that is what 21 years old is like, I dont remember). I think the Miramax brothers think they have another Gwyneth Paltrow in the making. The jury is still out on that one. Most of the other characters are adequate but forgettable except for Jean Smart (TV's Designing Women) as Harper's mother. She is deliciously bitchy and gives a riveting performance deserving of a Best Supporting Oscar nomination.

Pets: None (a minus)

VisualArt: Lots (a plus)

Sappy Factor: 5

Length: Under the 2 hour rule

Titles: Visially terrific. I have to mention that I really enjoyed the opening titles. So even though one of my readers thinks I have enough categories I have decided when warranted this one will appear.