Song for Marion
The closing night Gala Presentation at the
2012 Toronto International Film Festival®,
the joyful and heartwarming Song for Marion
brings together two icons of British cinema,
Academy Award® winner Vanessa Redgrave
(Howards End, Julia) and Terence Stamp (The
Limey, Billy Budd), as well as a new generation
of talent represented by the effervescent and
always impressive Gemma Arterton (Tamara
Drewe, Quantum of Solace).
Arthur (Stamp) is not an easy man to warm to. Grumpy and awkward at the best of times, he’s reached a point in his life so grim there seems little reason to smile anymore: his beloved wife Marion (Redgrave) is terminally ill. The indomitable Marion, however, refuses to let her condition get her down, and she continues to take great pleasure in singing with the local seniors’ choir. One rainy morning, while Arthur and Marion are still in bed, choir mistress Elizabeth (Arterton) brings the group out to serenade the couple with a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” Marion is delighted, but Arthur’s scowls send the singers scurrying away.
As Marion’s condition worsens, Arthur does his best to please her — even to the extent of taking her place in the choir, whose songbook turns out to be considerably less conventional than Arthur expected: “True Colors” might not seem too much of a stretch, but he’s rattled to hear them harmonizing on such selections as “Let’s Talk About Sex” and Motörhead’s mighty speed-metal classic “Ace Of Spades.” As he struggles to adapt to this new environment, Arthur will rediscover parts of himself long buried underneath his all-consuming bitterness — resources he’ll need in order to get through what will be the most painful transition in his life. Music brings bliss to everyone, but all songs must come to an end.
Song for Marion closes with a dedication: “To family.” And indeed, this is a film that speaks to people of all ages. Rousing and inspiring, it reminds us that every stage of life is worthy of celebration — a notion embodied here in the luminous form of two of the cinema’s most legendary performers.
"This is a very beautiful and striking love story of the kind you don’t often see, carried by two great performances by Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp." —Damon Wise, empireonline.com
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast:: Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston
Country: United Kingdom
Distributor: Entertainment One
Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR
* Represents an approximate date. Please consult local listings.