Song for Marion is a heartwarming comedic drama following shy, grumpy pensioner Arthur as he is reluctantly inspired by his beloved wife Marion to join a highly unconventional local choir. At odds with his son James, it is left to charismatic choir director Elizabeth to try and persuade Arthur that he can learn to embrace life. London-set, the story follows Arthur as he embarks on a hilarious, life-affirming journey of musical self-discovery.
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.
`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.
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.
After having seen this in the cinema and then having recorded it on television, it still remains one of my favourite films. It is funny, joyful & emotional in turn and the lead characters played by Vanessa Redgrave, Terence Stamp & Gemma Arterton are just so excellent! The rest of the cast are also amazing & it's just a wonderful little film. I bought this DVD for a friend I had been singing it praises to & as she has been in hospital, she hasn't had a chance to view it yet but I'm sure she will love it.