Thursday, February 19, 2009

DVD of the week

Strumming Along: Director Amy Redford (daughter of Robert Redford) follows in her father's footsteps with her debut film, The Guitar (R), a quiet, touching movie about one woman's transformation.

After Melody (played by Saffron Burrows) loses her thankless job, has her heart broken by her boyfriend and told she has cancer and only two months left to live, she does what any self-respecting woman would do: She sequesters herself in a pricey loft and begins spending her money like it's water. One does need the most comfortable bed; have to have that chic lamp; ooh, I need some trendy clothes because I threw the ones on my back out the window. If it sounds weird, it's not. Ok, maybe a little bit but that's just because we don't know this woman yet and we get little pieces of her throughout the film. She's a mystery just like the disease she's diagnosed with.

Burrows is electric. I haven't seen too many of her movies but found myself riveted by her expressions. There's a lot of them as the movie is not talky. Present day Melody is juxtaposed with dreams of young Melody and her fascination with a vintage red guitar. Before long, adult Melody is ordering one of her own. She does meet people while she's secluded in the loft; a pizza delivery girl and the super of the building.

I thought this was an original idea but it was inspired by a true story. I've no knowledge of the story it's based on but it's still definitely worth a watch. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Melody takes control of her life and rediscovers who she is.



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