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The Guitar
DVD disk
Feb 18, 2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Guitar order
Director:
Amy Redford

Actors:
Saffron Burrows
Issac De Bankole
Paz de la Huerta

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Melody Wilder’s world in turned upside down when she’s fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend and then diagnosed with cancer and told she has only two months left to live. All in the same morning. She decides to leave behind all aspects of her old life and sets off in search of a dream.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE GUITAR poses a difficult question: What would you do, if you had only two months left to live? We take so much for granted in our day to day lives, and let ourselves get sucked in to the monotony of routine. There are dreamers and there are doers in this world and Melody decides to do what most people never have the courage to, live her dreams. I fully understood when she left her apartment, and decided to isolate herself with an unlisted number. I wouldn’t want to spend my final moments writing a will and then dragging my sorrow house to house for all those tearful goodbyes. There can be strength in solitude, and Melody lets herself slip back into the carefree mind set of a child. A child with a fist full of credit cards. The weight and restrictions of life seemed to glide listlessly off her shoulders. And then amidst all the reckless purchases, she makes the most important one of all. She buys the guitar she’s always wanted, the guitar that haunts her dreams and her loveless childhood. Only in its embrace could she feel totally free.

Saffron Burrows is sensational as a dying woman who decides not to look back. Her performance was riveting and her scale of emotion simply mind blowing. It took me a few minutes to place her and then I remembered DEEP BLUE SEA. She played the beautiful Dr. Susan McAlester who sadly gets chomped by a shark near the end. Then we have Roscoe Wasz (Isaach De Bankole who you can also find in the current season of 24) the handsome (and clearly unhappily married) delivery man with whom Mel decides to unleash some of her pent up sexual frustrations. Hold that though, cause it sets the stage for Cookie (Paz de la Huerta) the bi-curious pizza girl who suddenly decides to throw the idea of sex on the table over pizza and wine. I love it. Not to mention the threesome they share (ohhh, I saw and or hoped it was coming) which completely lightened the mood. Well, mine at least. Seriously, more movies need to explore the two woman, one man threesome. Write that down.

I can clearly see how this could be THE gem (or at the very least a gem) of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. This is a powerful story showing us that sometimes before you can get anything out of life, you have to lose everything. I almost dropped a tear or two near the end when she maxes out all her cards only to find out it’s been three months and she’s still alive. My heart went out to her because I knew what the doctors were gonna say. Somehow, in the process of changing every aspect of her life, she beat the cancer and it vanished. Watching her sell all those items was tough, and I held my breath when it came down to the guitar. I watch a lot of movies, mostly throwaway blockbusters, but nothing makes me happier than sitting down to something like this. Something that moves me, changes me a bit inside. It may sound corny but this is what true cinema is meant to do and I sincerely applaud this masterpiece.
THE EXTRAS
She was pretty weak in the extras department. We get the movie’s trailer and a commentary by the director. I’m still looking for a hidden GUITAR HERO Easter egg.

Director’s Commentary: Director Amy Redford gives us the play by play. She’s immensely proud of the New York City backdrop and the use of a more subjective camera style. You can tell this woman is passionate as it seems like every “Extra” on the set had a deeper purpose for being there. All these incredible filming elements pool together becoming a testament to Saffron Burrow’s remarkable ability to carry the emotional burden of her character. Impressive.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I don’t care how old you are, your gender or what stage of life you currently find yourself living, I believe there's something here for everyone. I do suggest you watch it alone though, and let it seep into your soul so you can reflect upon it later. We all live with regrets, some of us choose to ignore them while others change their ways and chase their dreams. Life is short, we hear that a lot but sometimes we don’t see it or except it until it’s too late. THE GUITAR could be just the kick in the pants you need to start living for yourself and chasing your dreams.
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