Review: Song for Marion

Siana Bangura 25 February 2013

If you’re looking for 93 minutes of Terence Stamp, a funny bunch of over-sixties, Salt ‘N’ Pepa, Motorhead, Gnarls Barkley, Chaka Khan, cringe, and a generous sprinkle of the tender and heart-warming, Paul Andrew Williams’ latest offering, Song for Marion, should be right up your street. With silvery heart-throb Stamp leading the way as the curmudgeonly, melancholy Arthur, and Vanessa Redgrave as his terminally ill wife Marion, the movie chronicles an eccentric bunch of elderly people who sing in a choir called the OAPZ (endearing or face-palm worthy, I’m not entirely sure).

One focus of the film is Arthur’s difficult relationship with his son James (Christopher Eccleston), who resents his father for being cold and distant. Arthur resents that Marion spends so much of her time singing in the choir, but when tragedy strikes, we’re left with an Unfinished Song – the movie’s original title – and, reluctantly, Arthur steps in to do Marion’s solo. Full of laughs, and boasting a surprisingly good soundtrack, Song for Marion spotlights the lives of the elderly (albeit in a caricatured manner), and comes as an unexpected delight. Heartstrings will be tugged at as we witness how difficult Arthur finds expressing the very deep love he has for his wife and how lost he feels when she is no longer around. With the perseverance of Elizabeth and the support of the choir, Arthur re-evaluates his relationship with his son and with himself. Interestingly, Stamp bases his character on his own father, which contributes to a towering and moving performance. I defy you to not sniffle. Handkerchiefs at the ready.

Siana Bangura