Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) and Arthur (Terence Stamp) have been married for a long time, despite being opposites: Marion enjoys life to the fullest, while Arthur’s main hobby is being grumpy. But now Marion is slowly dying of cancer. She still spends a lot of her energy in the local seniors’ choir though, led by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) and tries to reconcile Arthur and their son James (Christopher Eccleston). After Marion dies, Arthur at first risks to fall into complete social isolation. But somehow he ends up taking over Marion’s hobby, singing in the choir.
I went into Song for Marion expecting a fluffy piece of entertainment, with nice music and some good laughs. And I got all that. But what I didn’t expect, but ended up having anyway, was a crying fit (in the best of ways) – I basically started during minute 2 and only stopped when the credits started rolling.
Movies like this one are rare: they grab ahold of your heartstrings, start tugging and then they lead you around by them. Yet, I never felt manipulated. In fact, I was happy to be on this heartstring leash and bawl my eyes out and then laugh a bit and then cry some more.
That was mostly due to the script, which is really good with its characters. So often, when you get the grumpy-man-vivacious-woman relationship, it’s not clear at all why the woman would stay with such a bitter old sack, but in this film you get it. Arthur might be grumpy, but when he’s alone with Marion, he can open up. He can be gentle and caring and loving. And you know that his grumpiness doesn’t come from a bitterness, but from fear – for Marion, of losing her.
But while the movie focuses on Arthur, it doesn’t forget it’s supporting chararcters – with Elizabeth and James much is hinted at, though not necessarily revealed and that gives both of them a fully-rounded feel. Plus, the cast was generally amazing. Starting with Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, but also Gemma Arterton and Christopher Eccleston.
There were a couple of moments that felt a little silly to me, but honestly, I needed the silliness a bit to get a little reprieve from ALL THE FEELS. But generally, feels were had in an excellent way and if you want to have them too, I can only recommend this.
Summarising: Watch it.