The Guitar

This was the official website to promote the movie, The Guitar. Content on this page was gleaned from the site's archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.

Original Language: English
Runtime: 1h 35m
Release: November 7, 2008

TomatoMeter  Critics 33% | Audience 55%


A doomed woman discovers her creative spirit during a final fling with life in this independent drama. Melody Wilder (Saffron Burrows) is already having a bad day when she visits her doctor about a troubling lump in her throat -- her boyfriend has left her, and she's lost her job. However, this news pales in comparison to what her doctor (Janeane Garofalo) has to say: the lump is an inoperable cancer, and Melody has only a short time to live. Throwing caution to the wind, Melody rents a huge, luxurious apartment and furnishes it in high style, putting her purchases on a handful of credit cards she won't be around to pay off. Melody also permits herself affairs with a few of the deliverymen who have become regular visitors to her loft, but she spends most her days alone, enjoying the trappings of wealth as she ponders what little future she has left. One day, Melody makes an impulse purchase, a red electric guitar that looks like one she wanted as a girl. While Melody isn't schooled on the instrument, she begins teaching herself to work out chord patterns and melody lines, and in the last chapter of her life discovers a way to give voice to the pain and confusion she's buried within her. Written by veteran underground filmmaker Amos Poe, The Guitar was the first feature film from director Amy Redford. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Rating: R (for sexual content, nudity and some language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Amy Redford
Written By: Amos Poe , Gillian Horvath
In Theaters: Nov 7, 2008 wide
On DVD: Feb 10, 2009
Runtime: 92 minutes
OPENING November 7, 2008 Sunshine Theatre, New York
Q& A to follow 7:15 show with Amy Redford, Saffron Burrows and Amos Poe in attendance.


2008 Sundance Film Festival
2008 Mill Valley Film Festival
2008 Hamptons International Film Festival




November 20, 2008

Owen Gleiberman Top Critic

Entertainment Weekly

 The Guitar is a lark, at best, but when Burrows' healing indulgence extends to taking on lovers of both sexes, its goofiness acquires a certain hedonistic charm.

The Guitar

Genre: Drama, Romance; Starring: Saffron Burrows, Isaach De Bankole; Director: Amy Redford; Author: Amos Poe; Release Date Limited: 11/07/2008; Runtime (in minutes): 93; MPAA Rating: R

The severely beautiful Saffron Burrows plays some sort of generic New York career woman who receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, is downsized from her job, and gets rejected by a lover — all in the same day. Good grief! To ease her agony, she rents a giant West Village loft and fills it with trendy paraphernalia, maxing out her credit cards. Amy Redford (Robert’s daughter) directed this fuzzy-headed consumerist disease-of-the-week satire. The Guitar is a lark, at best, but when Burrows’ healing indulgence extends to taking on lovers of both sexes, its goofiness acquires a certain hedonistic charm. C+



November 5, 2008

Rex Reed Top Critic

New York Observer

Written by Amos Poe and directed with moxie by Amy Redford, it's the ultimate movie about optimism.


November 7, 2008

Marcy Dermansky *** 1/2

I was seduced by Melody's story. Sucked in, enjoying Amy Redford's film despite myself.

A mousy young woman discovers that she has two months to live in the onset of Amy Redford's seductive fantasy/fable The Guitar. Not only has Melody (Saffron Burrows) lost her voice - an inoperable tumor is blocking her throat - and all hope for her future, but she is fired from her bad office job and dumped by her bad boyfriend. All on the same day.

What to do? Melody walks out of her modest apartment (which looked rather appealing to this Astoria dweller) and rents an unfurnished loft. She whips out her credit cards and starts shopping: furniture, clothes, food. Price is never an objection, immediate delivery required.

My initial response to Melody's course of action was outright disgust: You are staying in New York? You are home decorating? Melody throws her clothes out the window until the arrival of her new duds. Now you're polluting?

But an amazing thing happens. Maybe it's because Melody has such good taste: she buys gorgeous clothes, beautiful furniture, great clunky boots, a pretty butterfly necklace around her delicate neck.




February 16, 2009

***** Ursula H

This movie just completely absorbed me! A keeper and to watch again. Subtle and tender, astute and gracious. Saffron is magnificent, with not much dialogue she could stir in me complete compassion and empathy. The observations of the school custodian and her imagined involvement with a cleaning supply salesman were totally believable, especially because of her clean obsession and the fact that Frank could provide every recyclable anti-bacterial detergent... Esthetics and Tragedy go hand in hand...a wonderful and surprising ending...and my 2 pre-teen daughters were inspired in many is directed by a young woman, Amy Redford,( daughter of....!) for women and for men who are willing to look deeper into a female candid it really is.....and those who say it is about shallow consumerism, just completely missed the point!!


October 19, 2009

**** Paisit B

DVD, artistic movie with slow but interesting plot. Enjoyed the cinematography. Indeed worth seeing. recommended for serious movie goers.


October 19, 2009

Ebru Y*

i read somewhere that this is the director's first movie. but unfortunately it's no good. it's far from persuasive (maybe because of the leading lady's expresionless act i don't know...) all i know is in order to cure the cancer you leave all your habits behind, try to live in luxury although u have no money (thanx to credit cards), have sex with whoever knocks on your door and - bingo- u'll be ok. itS as ridiculous as this.

the main motive of the movie is to "consume endlessly" whether it's goods or people. waste of time/waste of money.


September 7, 2009

**** Ian C

I was pleasantly surprised. I saw the overly gratuitous cover while browsing the previously watched and noticed that it was a Sundance winner and at its heavily discounted price it was worth a look I felt.

The movie has a definite 'indie' feel to it and benefits from that approach. Yes it has some eroticism but it I found it compelling and quite moving. I really didn't find it boring or slow - I was hooked and need to know how this would end. Suspension of disbelief may be required at times but I can do that. There is an interesting moral to be read from her actions and from their unexpected results.

I don't do plot spoilers - you'll have to work that out yourself. I recommend it - you'll at least have a good conversation starter as you ponder what you would do in the circumstances.

I do look forward to seeing Saffron Burrows - she was quite enchanting, and this is a worthy directorial debut from Amy Redford.


September 6, 2009

*** ½  Bud M

A sad but touching story about how your approach to life is altered when you realize that each day could be your last. Saffron Burrows was perfect as Melody Wild and with a cast of solid supporting.


September 5, 2009

**** Joel M

Even though it is not the feel & sound good movie of the year, "The Guitar" rocks! Saffron Burrows mesmerizing performance is all the string it needs for this movie to be helmed a success. Burrows stars as Melody Wilder, a grieving New York woman who is told she has terminal throat cancer by her pessimistic doctor. Unfortunately, Melody's life tunes continue to be somber when she is downsized by her employer, and downsized by her boyfriend. Melody is about to take the suicidal route until she sees an ad for a short-term rental for a NY loft apartment. She then decides to hibernate during her last days of existence in the loft while charging all her credit cards to the max on food, furniture, and eventually The Guitar. Melody since childhood has been yearning to own & learn to play the guitar, but had never amplified (whatever that means) herself to do so until now. In the loft, Melody self teaches herself to play the guitar and all its melodies. Situations turn a bit more sexually wilder for Ms. Wilder when she beds a black furniture mover employee and a pizza delivery girl during her loft stay. I will not reveal more of "The Guitar" because it will spoil some dead or not-so-dead issues which the film's plot line reveals. "The Guitar" had a sundance twist to it as it was helmed by novice Director Amy Redford, daughter of Robert. Ms. Redford's impressive debut is worth a Sundance Festival salute. Amos Poe's semi-implicit screenplay worked brilliantly; it's "quality" not "quantity" wording approach was "poewerful". But it was Burrows' stunning acting was what I thought jammed the most about "The Guitar". Her facial expressions and nonverbal cues spoke volumes on stellar acting. Her commendable characterizations will not succumb to acting death any time soon. Remind me, why wasn't she nominated for acting awards last year? "The Guitar" is slow moving and its not an easy plot sell, but do not pass on playing this Guitar notably for Burrows' resounding acting!

**** Good


September 3, 2009

½ Chris V

wow, really really bad. there were points where i was actually just hoping Melody would just die already. there are lots of spoilers hereafter, so be warned. i understand the mentality of "well, im dying, might as well enjoy my last days", so go out & splurge, eat foods you've never eaten, buy expensive things so that you can live comfortably, buy things you've always wanted but couldnt afford because of real life bills & debts. but honestly, why would you throw all your clothes out the window? why would you essentially steal all these things (its stealing because you know you're never gonna pay for them)? why seduce a married man, as if there arent enuff single guys in nyc that'll be your fuck buddy for a month or two? it just kept bothering & bothering me, to where i just wanted her to die and the credits to roll. but no, im then treated to the absolutely absurd "hey, the cancer magically disappeared!" and the "band finds new guitarist busking in the park" and they all live happily ever after. what a completely unrealistic movie.


September 3, 2009

***** brlracincwgrl

What an unbelievable story, full of