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.
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"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
A simple film that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't
This film was the closing night gala of the Toronto International Film Festival. It seems most of those were forgotten in past years but I hope this one gets more attention.
The story is quite simple, a grumpy old man finds the love of his life dying from cancer. She is in a local choir, lead by a joyful young woman. But the man, Terrence Stamp, wants nothing to do with it. The film is somewhat stereotypical and he's the old man you'd expect to see, seemingly allergic to anything remotely close to happiness, unless it has to do with his wife. Even his own son doesn't seem to bring him joy. But as the film goes on, of course, he will find that there are things in life that make it worth living, and that accepting people in your life will make it worth all better.
I wish I could give this a 6.5. The movie isn't the greatest comedy of all time, but it's light and it's fun. The elderly people in the choir are cute but it seems they all happen to be really weird and want to dress up as rappers and sing about sex. Yes, you know how it ends. It could only end one way and you see it coming from the opening scenes.
The film could have been better, had it not been so typical. It could have been quite good, if the movie had explored the themes it barely grazed in the film, such as Stamp's relationship with his son. The film teaches you that it's never too late to make things right. But I'm thinking for some elements in this film it may have been.
The actors were good, I wish we'd seen more of Vanessa Redgrave but Terrence Stamp upheld the film from beginning to end and I thin it would have been a lot worse without him as the lead role. I guess he learnt to sing for the film and he was quite good, but if the movie hadn't stayed at the surface of the themes it explored, it might have made for a more touching ending.
Song for Marion won't blow you away by its originality. But if you can get past that, it can still make for an enjoyable film. Keep it for a rainy day and don't expect anything it doesn't promise.
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