Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Song for Marion

Or UNFINISHED SONG as it was retitled for America. I decided I did not want to see this 'old folks movie' from last year, as much as we appreciate Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave here (see other posts on them at labels). However, it was among my christmas presents, so we gave it a whirl last evening.

Marion is the dying wife of grumpy old Arthur in some unspecified suburban part of England - her only pleasure is singing in the choir run by pretty teacher Gemma Atherton. Arthur hates the choir and all their cheerfulness, but has to put up with it as he trundles Marion to and from their singing classes. Athur is also estranged from his son Christopher Eccleston, who has tried his best to get on with his father. There is also a cute little girl, Arthur's grand-daughter. So the winsome drama is worked out with these characters and that choir as well (which features Anne Reid with nothing to do). Marion dies and Artur retreats, but slowly comes back to life and before the end he is singing with the choir, as they win a regional singing contest. Ok, so far - so mawkish.

This though did not work for me at all - I have more or less grown up with Terry and Vanessa in the movies, since I was a teenager - they were never teamed in the Sixties, and don't look like a team now either here. Stamp must have believed in it, he did a lot of interviews and promotion for it at the time. Its just sad seeing them look their age at last, and in material not really worthy of them. It was promoted as another of those Movies for Old Folk - films to get the older generation back into the cinema, like that awful MARIGOLD HOTEL and QUARTET both of which I loathed with a vengance - the antithesis of what I want cinema to be - see reviews at Trash label.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. I picked this up in Cex (the DVD trade store) last year for just 2.50, and I still felt robbed. It's such a flat, weak affair that wastes the talents of Stamp, Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston and as you say the divine Anne Reid. I do however like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but this chasing of 'the grey pound' should remember that not all OAP starring films need to be such dull affairs; look at Lemmon and Matthau in Grumpy Old Men.