While Saffron Burrows’s “Guitar” gently weeps


Say, in one day, you got dumped, downsized and diagnosed with terminal cancer. That would be a very bad day indeed. So, what would you do? Well, if you are the character played by openly bisexual actress Saffron Burrows in the new film The Guitar, you’d buy — um, you guessed it — a guitar.

Of course, along the way you’d also rent a gorgeous loft, buy mail-order luxuries, make out with the cute furniture delivery guy, make out with the cute pizza delivery girl and teach yourself to play guitar. Hey, everyone handles grief differently.


The independent feature debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will premiere in limited release in New York on Nov. 7. First-time director Amy Redford, daughter of Robert Redford, imagined the film as a fairytale of sorts. As such, The Guitar asks viewers to ask how they would confront their own mortality.

Saffron plays Mel, a mousy New Yorker who loses her job, her boyfriend and her lease on life. Diagnosed with throat cancer and given less than two months to live, she embarks on “the kind of self-indulgent wish fulfillment that we have all fantasized about.”

And, wouldn’t you know it, some of those fantasies include becoming romantically involved with the pizza girl, Cookie (played by Paz de la Huerta). Some people tip; some people tip generously.

Burrows, Redford and de la Huerta

In an interview with AfterEllen.com in July, Saffron said The Guitar was one of her proudest accomplishments. She has good reason to be proud. Variety said her “delicate, somber … lovely, vanity-free” performance carried the film.

So, what do you think? Will this Guitar sing? Or is it all feedback? Discuss before I make any more bad guitar analogies.

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