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Guinevere


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Polley, Stephen Rea, Jean Smart, Gina Gershon, Paul Dooley
  • Directors: Audrey Wells
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: March 14, 2000
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630574453X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,301 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Guinevere" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Screen favorite Stephen Rea (MICHAEL COLLINS, THE CRYING GAME) stars in this sexy, humorous story about a young woman's discovery of life and love in the arms of an older man! Born into an affluent family of overachievers, awkward young Harper Sloane (Sarah Polley -- eXistenZ, Go!) was always the odd one out ... until a brilliant photographer, Connie Fitzpatrick (Rea), focuses his attention on her! Now he's about to show her a world of possibilities she'd never imagined! But even as Connie begins to guide Harper out of her shell, it's ultimately up to Harper alone to show her disapproving mother ... and the whole world ... her true potential! Also featuring Gina Gershon (THE INSIDER, FACE/OFF) -- you'll be charmed by the acclaimed performances in this warm, award-winning motion picture!

Amazon.com

Sarah Polley has built a reputation on her eerie calm--most of her performances seem dominated by an icy, implacable stare. That's why her performance in Guinevere is such a revelation. Polley plays Harper, a young woman from a wealthy but troubled family who's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. At her older sister's wedding, she meets Connie (Stephen Rea), a photographer as old as her parents, with whom she begins an affair. Their relationship--partly an education in the arts, partly an escape from the repression of her family--takes a variety of twists and turns, none of them predictable, all of them questionable, all of them genuine. The movie is clear-eyed about the situation: Connie isn't idealized, and is in many ways a creepy older man, neurotic and self-aggrandizing, but he also offers a kind of emotional support that Harper has never had. Whenever the movie seems to be turning into some bohemian fantasy, something happens that returns it to earth, sometimes with an uncomfortable jolt. It's unsettling, insightful, charming, scary, absurd, and all too real. All the performances are excellent--Jean Smart, as Harper's mother, is smart and cuttingly bitter; Rea is by turns sweet and manipulative, honest and self-deluded. But above all, Polley displays a combination of vulnerability and steely determination that makes Guinevere utterly compelling. The ending is curious--I still haven't made up my mind about it. But for a movie as committed to the contradictions of human relationships as this one, there's nothing wrong with that. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

I cant believe how incredibly good and convincing sarah polley was in this.
Jimmy James
Though not a film with which you can get too emotionally involved, "Guinevere" has it's moments and does manage to maintain interest.
Reviewer
After renting and then watching this "film" I felt the need to warn as many people as possible about this movie.
English major

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy James on March 20, 2000
Format: DVD
I cant believe how incredibly good and convincing sarah polley was in this.After seeing GO! I thought she couldnt act,boy was I wrong.her performance was A list as was the rest of the cast The story and look was realistic.What can you say other than DYNOMITE!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Middle Child on July 12, 2005
Format: DVD
I'd highly recommend this film to anyone, but especially to any

female artist, musician, actor who has come of age. This isn't

so much about a May-December romance: it is about the student/mentor bond which can be incredibly strong and intense,

and an aging artist who through Harper, is trying to hold onto

his past youth and the artistic potential he once had.

This could have been such a sappy movie, but the acting and writing kept that from happening. I agree with another reviewer - it was NOT predictable, and the acting was so real.

Sarah Polley is great, but Stephen Rea absolutely broke my heart.

These characters were not romanticized: they were multi-dimentional, human. There was good and not so good about them.

Connie Fitzgerald did manipulate and seduce Harper, but it was also clear that he really loved her. It was clear as well, that Harper knew what she was getting herself into and it was her choice ultimately.

My only reservation was that some of the family members (father,

sister) were one-dimensional to the point where it was hard to

believe. Perhaps that was how Harper saw them, or perhaps that

was done to set-off the volatile emotional intensity of the mother (Jean Smart, who was also good), and the repressed/about-to-emerge artistic intensity of Harper.

I am a die-hard Stephen Rea fan after seeing this film.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Girl Friday APL on January 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I haven't seen Rea since his role in "don't reveal the secret!" _Crying Game_, although I've heard that he did well in _Still Crazy_. _Guenevere_, though, explores an odd mentor-lover relationship between starving artist Rea and blue-blood, WASPy Polley. The age difference here wasn't the only issue, oddly enough--rather it was the strange turns that inevitably develop between people who knowingly enter a relationship where tutoring is an intended part of the romance. Rea's artist has a long history of shacking up with young women and turning them into "true" artists, be they painters, sculptors, dancers, or in Polley's case, photographers. And although I normally would balk at the willingness with which these women handed themselves over to Rea's well-worn lines and drunken philosophies, _Guenevere_ managed to avoid the squeamishness that I feel, for example, whenever I see Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones together. Be sure to pay attention to Jean Smart's dead-on analysis of daughter Polley and Rea's relationship; it's eloquent and brutal.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2002
Format: DVD
Many have either misunderstood or overlooked this gem. If only Hollywood had the brains and/or balls to put out such gems. I loved this movie and could easily watch it many times over. The dialog was intelligent, piercingly truthful. Bravo to the screenwriter! All of the actors: Stephen Rea, Sarah Polly, Jean Smart, Gina Gerson gave compelling, strong performances.

"Guinevere" is the nickname given by Stephen Rea's character (Connie), an alcoholic bohemian type way past his prime, to his significantly younger female companions. See the King Arthur and Guinevere analogy? You see the relationship fraught with the parasitic and symbiotic moments. Jean Smart, who played Guinevere's mom, gave an amazing monolog dissecting the nature of such a relationship.
For those reviewers who said that this film was unrealistic; I disagree. Anyone who has ever found oneself fascinated by inappropriate, older lovers at some point in one's life will understand this film. Some of my friends and I have been "Guinevere" for our own reasons, and we saw the emotional truth in this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Bradshaw on August 31, 2008
Format: DVD
I had the unbelievable good fortune to stumble upon Guinevere, starring Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea, this week. I really enjoyed this movie.

Polley plays Harper, a young, insecure woman on the brink of attending Harvard Law School. At her sister's wedding, she meets Connie Fitzpatrick, an aging wedding photographer. He strikes up an easy rapport with her, guessing quickly that she's not cut out for law school and flattering her with a compliment or two. Connie also slyly accommodates her request not to be photographed in the traditional wedding shots, but he surprises her with a beautiful portrait that he took (featuring only her) in an unguarded moment. When Harper visits Connie to thank him for the portrait, he invites her to stick around with him and learn about . . . art.

Before she knows it, Harper is chucking the idea of law school and moving in with her new lover. The two seem oddly happy together, though Harper's own low self-esteem and Connie's need for adulation are more than a little self-destructive. Harper soon discovers that she's one in a string of Connie's many "pupils" - all young, all insecure, all taken in by his talk of art and his Irish accent. Connie has fed them all the same lines, tried to inspire all of them to create art, called them all his "Guinevere." Despite that, however, Harper decides Connie's a better bet than her own dysfunctional family of backbiting lawyers. As the viewer knows from the start, Connie and Harper must eventually have a sad parting.

The film comes full circle four years later, when news that Connie has been stricken with illness reaches his former loves.
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