Song for Marion (also known as Unfinished Song) focuses around Arthur (Terence Stamp), the grumpy husband of Marion (Venessa Redgrave), a free spirit who is set on performing with her choir in an upcoming competition. However, when Marion falls ill of cancer, Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) tries to convince Arthur to sing in Marion’s place. Arthur is also at odds with his estranged son, James (Christopher Eccleston). Arthur must find it in himself to get past his grumbling personality and sing in the competition before it’s too late for Marion to see it.
The plot for Song For Marion is actually not unlike the recent Pitch Perfect and it succeeds primarily through its likeable characters. The most interested and well-portrayed character in the film is Gemma Arterton’s Elizabeth, the well-meaning leader of the choir. You can see she’s really trying to give these people something different in their lives, and for the most part she succeeds, having them perform things like Salt-N-Pepa’s Let’s Talk About Sex, and Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, in arguably the film’s funniest scene.
Christopher Eccleston’s James is also enjoyable, not just playing the typical disillusioned useless son, showing a man who is capable in himself and is actually a pretty good father himself to his young daughter. Surprisingly the film’s weakest spot is Stamp himself, really not portraying anything new or interesting, just being an old grump. He does go on a bit of an arc throughout the story, but mostly he’s the same by the end as he is at the beginning, just slightly more open-minded. Although, to be honest, saying Terence Stamp is the weakest part of your film is actually a very high compliment in my book.
Song For Marion is not going to win any awards for an original and compelling narrative, but it is a nice film. It has a nice story, it has nice characters, its just all around nice. Its also the best out of the films aimed at older audiences released recently. I enjoyed this more than The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I enjoyed it a lot more than Quartet. It balances the drama and comedy well, but sometimes it can lean towards the clichÃ©d and there’s really nothing new here. On the other hand, it doesn’t need to be new, it just needs to be inoffensive and entertaining, and its that to a T.