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Nicely made but rather depressing
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.