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on 22 June 2013
Terence Stamp, in a near career-best performance, stars in this heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting film concerning a pensioner who finds difficulty connecting with other people, including his son, Christopher Eccleston. Vanessa Redgrave, in one her best latter day performances, plays Stamp's wife who is dying. Later, after some soul searching, it is through her memory and the gradual guidance of young music teacher, Gemma Arteton, in a lovely performance, that finally draws Stamp out of his shell and take up where his wife left off, performing with a group of musical OAP's. Being receptive to 'gentle' entertainment, i found myself totally immersed in what unfolded, and certainly left me in quite a reflective mood. A very down to earth film that draws top performances from it's cast and will be fondly remembered as one of 2013 best offerings.
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on 22 May 2013
`Song for Marion' is more than a story of getting older, relationships and facing loss. At a much deeper level it is the exploration of the barriers we sometimes put up to prevent others seeing us as we really are. And very often the person behind the barriers is much nicer than the more troubled person who is conveyed from the front.

In the role of Arthur, Terence Stamp gives new meaning to the term grumpy old man. He is grumpy at so many different levels. Grumpy because he struggles with the inhibitions of enjoying himself; grumpy because he is poor at expressing feelings and maintaining relationships and grumpy because he knows that he is shortly to be abandoned and alone.

The film tells the story of people doing exceptional things: Elizabeth devoting time and energy to doing something worthwhile in the community; Marion determined to fight death and stay positive as long as possible; older people using their energy to enjoy themselves and entertain others and Arthur beginning to understand that family and relationships with others are far more important than he had realised.

It is essentially a message of discovery, realising that we all inhibit ourselves and in so doing prevent others seeing the real person inside. Arthur and Marion clearly have love for each other and they know each other well. Marion knows that if someone or something can break through Arthur's protective barrier, his life after her death and his relationship with his son and granddaughter will be the better for it. So, she contrives to get him involved with the community choir `OAPZ' - Z for street cred!

Despite his strong reluctance he recognises in Elizabeth and the choir, something that is painfully missing in him: the ability to just be himself. `Song for Marion' is a story of love and loss and discovery. For those who dismiss it as sentimental, they miss the point. It doesn't reflect the all too common gloomy side of life in Britain today: drugs, debt, violence and unemployment. It reflects a deeper understanding of human relationships and the way in which each of us can have an important impact on each other if we allow ourselves to be real and to be seen.

A truly excellent film. Wonderfully written and a wonderful cast with faultless performances by all.
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on 14 July 2013
If films are meant to stir the emotions, then this film should be a huge success. It centres on the stereotypical grumpy old man versus the optimism of youth and how a man's life is changed by the loss of the person he loves the most. The acting is very convincing, particularly from Terence Stamp who should be up for an award for his performance. Buy it. Watch it. Have some tissues ready.
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on 26 June 2013
My wife and I saw this film when it was first shown at our local cinema. Great storyline, superbly acted and well directed. We're so pleased it's now available on DVD, however, at the moment, our local supermarket is advertising it for sale at £9.00!
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on 30 April 2014
This film will make you laugh and cry at the same time. It tackles a topic that far too many people have to deal with in their lives but this films does it beautifully. Also, its British so the humour is natural and does not feel forced in the least. All I can say is watch it and then you will understand.
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on 27 February 2013
Who needs the likes of Hollywood blockbusters, with all their computerised wizardry, on-screen action and hard-hitting loud music, when you can have this? For this is home-grown sentiment at its very best ... a gem of a little film with superb understated performances from the likes of British acting stalwarts Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, accompanied by the often over-looked talents of Christopher Eccleson, and the obvious charm of relative newbie Gemma Arterton. This is a very 'un-film-like' film - so much so that, at times, it simply feels like a 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary - almost every scene could be that of the local housing estate anywhere in England -with buildings, a village hall, and indeed the aging community of typical haphazard characters thrown together through their joy of singing. And those at the centre and heart of the story - Marion, her husband - the grumpy but silently-hurting Arthur - and their father-rejected son James and granddaughter Jenny - just any family from the world over. But this is where the film's strength lies - this is real life: with all its heartache, sorrow and vulnerability dolloped out in cold brutality; yet with the warmth of humanity thrown straight back in tender counter-reaction. This is a gentle, touching and wryly humorous look at the effects of illness within the heart of a community and, more especially, of the legacy of strength and love on those left behind. Not a film with massively broad appeal I guess, but one that will perhaps strike a chord with many and certainly stay in the hearts and minds of the sentimental few who have the privilege of seeing it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 March 2014
This film got some bad reviews when it came out. The critics disliked it because it was, to them, trite, predictable and sentimental, not to mention that it showed pensioners doing embarrassing things like wearing baseball caps backwards! I really liked it. It deals with some pretty difficult themes - death, bereavement and estrangement. Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) has a tumour and is dying. Arthur (Terence Stamp) is emotionally repressed and can't express his feelings or enjoy himself. Marion understands him but his son does not and they have been estranged for a long time. The film celebrates singing and community as a helper and healer and we see how Arthur is enabled to come to terms with his wife's death and become reconciled both with his son and with himself. The film is gentle, touching and humane and there are real life lessons for real people in it. It tells the truth. What more can one ask than to be entertained, touched and told the truth, all at the same time?
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on 22 December 2013
Received in good time and thoroughly enjoyed the film, with a tremendous cast - Terence Stamp was unbelievably moving in his role - and Vanessa Redgrave played a brilliantly supportive yet strong role as his wife.
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It is too bad that this film 'Unfinished Song' came out so late in the game. With the other UK films of baby boomers already seen, this is a bit redundant. That said, the performances by Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave make up for any lessing.

Marion, played by Vanessa Redgrave, has a terminal disease and intends to live her life fully. Her husband, Arthur, as played by Terence Stamp, has always been stoic, no fun, Arthur. Marion is the only one who seems to understand Arthur. Marion loves to sing with her pensioner's group, her friends are there. Arthur drops her by and then leaves or stays outside and smokes. He cares for her, all by himself, he wants to do the controlling. They have a son and a granddaughter, but Arthur never seemed to get on with the boy. As time goes by we get to know the members of the choir, and the young woman leading it. This is a story well told, but it does fall into the dramatic fold. However, I wouldn't really know because tears were streaming.

A lovely British film with a lot to say. It has been said before and is not new, that is why I assume the film did not hit the big time. But for those of us who enjoy these films, it is a winner. I loved the cast, recognize a few faces in the choir, and would love to see this turned into a series. What could be better than old senior farts singing their hearts out?

Recommended. prisrob 02-23-14
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on 15 April 2015
Terence Stamp is delightfully believable as the curmudgeonly Arthur but his life is shadowed by the fact that his wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) is terminally ill. Her social activities include a choir of elderly folk, meeting in a church hall, directed by the cheerful Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) who, I thought, was very realistic as the bouncy choir mistress.

The first part of the film felt quite morose; it felt so depressing that we almost turned it off after about half an hour. But we kept watching... and after the inevitable, the story did get better, if a little predictable. There are one or two quite amusing scenes and some drama, as well as poignancy.

Unfortunately some of the singing, which is important to the storyline, isn’t that great, although it is - in the end - a positive story, and a nicely made film with some great characters.

The rating is PG in the UK, PG-13 in the US; this reflects the lack of horror, violence or nudity; on the other hand there are a LOT of references to sex. I wouldn’t suggest anyone under the age of about thirteen or fourteen watch this in any case, as there are some quite heavy emotional scenes, and the storyline wouldn’t be of interest to children.

Not as enjoyable as 'Quartet', which I liked very much.
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