Song for Marion is released nationwide on 22 February 2013.
It was the May Fair Hotel Gala of the 56th BFI London Film Festival.
Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton) shifts dramatic tone with this highly enjoyable film about love, loss and self-discovery.
Arthur (Terence Stamp) is a grouchy old man who struggles with any form of emotional expression. His terminally-ill wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) is embracing life to the last and is an enthusiastic member of a contemporary choir led by singing instructor Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). Arthur fearfully opposes Marion’s participation in the group and dismisses their son James (Christopher Eccleston) who is struggling to come to turns with his mother’s condition. The bubbly, perceptive and endlessly determined Elizabeth detects that Arthur is suppressing more than just his feelings and gradually unlocks his true voice.
Straddling the territory between the enormously successful documentary Young@Heart (the musical choices here range from Salt-n-Pepa and Stevie Wonder to Motorhead!) and the triumphant British films Brassed Off and The Full Monty, the unabashed thrust of Song for Marion’s story is that the joy of life is to truly live it. This sentiment is underscored by terrific performances from the entire cast and deliciously undercut by Stamp’s piercing gaze which, true to his character, simultaneously gives nothing and everything away.