If Song For Marion was a Sunday night BBC One drama, no one would look twice. To be honest, despite its theatrical release, I still doubt many will indeed look more than once. It’s a very quaint pastiche of the elderly which looks like it’s trying far too hard to give old people a reason to go to the pictures because ‘these people are just like you’. It’s plodding and dull. It begins by feeling like a slightly more light-hearted, little England version of Michael Haneke’s recent (and beyond-draining) Amour, whilst raising just as few smiles.
Vanessa Redgrave plays a terminally ill woman, married to a Victor Meldrew, grouchy old husband (Terrance Stamp). She finds pleasure in her final weeks and months by attending a choir led by the too-good-to-be-true Gemma Arterton. Arterton’s performance is especially annoying and comes across as ever so patronising while the story is sign posted and feels like it just goes through the motions. The old people sing “modern” songs in an attempt to show that old people can be ‘groovy’ which has got to be one of the oldest ‘old people jokes’ in the book. Unfortunately, it all fizzles out to a tepid hot water bottle of a film.
Review by David Rank
Song For Marion is released on 8th February in the US and 22nd February in the UK. Certificate PG (UK). Running time 93 mins.
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