Grumpy pensioner Arthur honors his recently deceased wife's passion for performing by joining the unconventional local choir to which she used to belong, a process that helps him build bridges with his estranged son, James.
Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only ... See full summary »
At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Dame Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
From the Blackfriars' theatre in London, Andrew Marr presents a unique television premiere - a new production of John Webster's bloody revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi performed in a ... See full summary »
A young woman moves to Paris with a disastrous past. When she becomes a woman and thinks she's finally free from her past's shadows, some characters show up and she gets the chance to become a unique heroine.
"Song for Marion", a London-set comedic drama, is about shy, grumpy pensioner Arthur who 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. Arthur must confront the undercurrents of his own grumbling persona as he embarks on a hilarious, life-affirming journey of musical self discovery.Written by
Terence Stamp said in an interview that one of the great regrets of his life is that he turned down the offer to play Arthur in Camelot (1967) (the role went to Richard Harris ) because he was afraid his singing voice would be dubbed. When the offer came to play another character called Arthur, who also had to sing, forty years later, he still had the same fears, but he decided that he would face them and accepted. His co-star Vanessa Redgrave played the female lead in Camelot (1967)_. See more »
From the end credits: In at least two instances, the word "assistant" is misspelled a-s-s-i-t-a-n-t. See more »
Chips and ice cream, Marion. Someone told me once, when there's nothing you can do, chips and ice cream. Go home and have as much as you want.
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You'll be walking out of the cinema with a warm smile on your face.
In his directorial debut Paul Andrew Williams gave us an impressive, gritty and bleak crime film, London to Brighton – a film shot in just 19 days on a budget of £19,000. In his latest work he goes on the complete other end of the spectrum to deliver us a heart-warming comedy-drama, Song for Marion. When looking at its exterior, most would easily jump to labeling it a sentimental film which it's one motive is to get you blubbering. It certainly succeeds in getting you to shed tears, but this is through the film's well developed relationships between the characters, especially that of Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) and Arthur (Terence Stamp). Marion is terminally ill and is cared for by her grumpy husband, Arthur – he reluctantly helps fulfil her wishes to attend local OAP choir sessions headed by a young music teacher, Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). But of course as Marion's health begins to fade, Arthur finds himself becoming more and more desperate about the inevitable prospect of being alone without his beloved wife. This prompts him to become more involved in the choir's sessions, which builds up to the group's entry into a national choir competition – a beat very much in the vein of the 1996 film, Brassed Off.
The on-screen chemistry between Redgrave and Stamp is heart-wrenching; it's hard to fight back those tears as the two comfort one another during Marion's final months. But it's when Arthur finally confesses to Marion that he's scared about being without her that I finally let the tears subside – it's just beautiful stuff. Redgrave's singing performance of True Colours and Stamp's final belting delivery of Goodnight My Darling will also leave you and the theatre audience in a quiver of snivels. But on the side there is very funny and touching moments with the choir themselves which mix in well to not make you an emotional wreck for the majority of the film. Christopher Eccleston is effective on the sidelines as Arthur and Marion's son who struggles to bond with his stone-walled father. I felt Eccleston was slightly underused, but nonetheless enjoyable in the scenes he had; meanwhile Arterton is sweet and caring as Elizabeth, who tries hard to break down Arthur's cold exterior in order to get him involved with the choir.
This is a splendid British picture – Paul Andrew Williams proves here that he can tackle pretty much any genre, and if you take a look at his other genre films, you'll see that the man certainly has the knack – He's done horror, crime and now a beautiful British comedy-drama. The performances are splendid, the comedic and teary moments are balanced perfectly – but ultimately what makes the film work is that it doesn't try to break you down into an emotional wreck, it merely presents its characters in situations; bonding, caring and helping one another through the tough times. This is the kind of British film we need more of – you'll be walking out of the cinema with a warm smile on your face.
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