Paul Andrew Williams has made a name for himself as a cutting edge filmmaker, from the unpleasant world of prostitution in London To Brighton, the kidnap horror of The Cottage, and the hoodie home invasion in Cherry Tree Lane. But now Williams latest step may take his fanbase completely by surprise.
Arthur (Terrance Stamp) is a grumpy old pensioner, who cannot understand his wife Marion’s (Vanessa Redgrave) passion for the choir club held at the local community hall. Riddled with cancer Marion is near the end, her last real request is to perform at a choir contest, singing contemporary songs (and rap) with her older generation choir mates. As Marion’s health weakens group leader Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) reaches out to Arthur in order to try and see her passion.
Song For Marion is a lovely family drama, the sort of movie we simply do not see in this day and age. Getting Terrance Stamp to effectively play his age is an absolute masterstroke, his performance incredible. While Redgrave’s powerful delivery as a woman literally counting her final days was clearly a subject close to her heart (after the relatively recent passing of her sister Lynn Redgrave). But these outstanding award winning performances in some way take a back burner to the performance by Arterton, whose character of Elizabeth is innocent, out of time, and truly adorable.
The movie is all about forging bonds and building bridges, a unique achievement for a screenwriter and director who has spent the best part of the last ten years trying to mortify his audience in ways they have never been mortified before. The script is naturally written, covering the sort of ground everyone will be in someway familiar with.
Song For Marion will “warm the cockles of your heart” from the tragedy of loss, to the power of love. It works on every single level but one, the loose link is the terrible east London accent delivered by Christopher Ecclestone who plays the disgruntles son of Arthur and Marion.
Song For Marion goes on general release in the UK from February 22nd. SEE THIS MOVIE!