Sarah Polley Tribute "Guinevere" by Audrey Wells


My next bunch of reviews will focus on Canadian actor/director Sarah Polley, who has starred in several independent films such as "Guinevere", "Go", and "My Life Without Me", along with directing the critically acclaimed films "Away from Her" and "Take This Waltz".  Born in January of '79 in Toronto, Sarah found success in the TV show "Road to Avonlea" and several other Canadian productions.  She may be short in stature (5'2") but is quite the heavy hitter in the indie film scene.

The 1999 film "Guinevere" was written and directed by Audrey Wells and co-stars veteran Irish actor Stephen Rea as Connie Fitzpatrick a Bohemian San Francisco photographer.  Polley plays Harper Slone the youngest daughter in a wealthy, stuck-up family of lawyers.  Harper is often ignored and played off as the black sheep when she is really the most normal and grounded of the bunch.  While bored to death at her sister's wedding, she runs off with a bottle of champagne and manages to bump into the wedding photographer, Connie.   Connie is not one to win over the young ladies with his looks but is a very mysterious and intriguing character.  The appealing lure of the life of an artist does it every time. He quickly strikes up a sort of friendship with Harper when he agrees not to photograph her as part of the wedding party.  Unknown to Harper he does take a picture of her and she falls in love with it.  On the back, it says "To Guinevere"

Connie is the stereotypical self-destructive, alcoholic, artist.  He has this thing were he mentors and helps troubled young female artists find their way.  I won't lie it is kind of creepy and looks likes the oldest trick in the book for an older man to get with young girls.  Although there must be something to him because Harper ditches Harvard law school to live with Connie rent free with the condition that she must work on being some sort of artist.  She chooses photography as her medium.  All of the girls past and present are referred to as his Guinevere's and serve as his muse's for his own photography projects.  It not long before the ole Connie charm kicks in and Harper is sleeping with him.  Harper is introduced to his close circle of friends and even meets a former Guinevere, played by Gina Gershon.  For the first time in her life, Harper feels accepted for who she is and not the constant disappointment her family sees.  Connie gives her all of the attention she could ever want and Harper soaks it up like a sponge.

Early on when Harper finds out there have been other Guinevere's, she has a major freak out.  Thinking she is being taken advantage of, she moves out only to be back with him shortly after.  When Harper's mother finds out what she's been up to she confronts Connie.  She is one frosty bitch (played by Jean Smart), which a big side jealousy. "Guinevere" is not a great movie by any stretch, but it is watchable for Polley and Rea because without them this movie would need to be left in the darkroom.