Raindance 2013 line-up announced

But did they make a mistake in putting Julian Assange on their jury?

Review: Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Rooney Mara is fantastic in this delicate, sun-soaked Western

Review: About Time

Ever since I was a boy, I always wondered about voice-overs...

Film review: Wadjda

Every now and then, a film comes along that changes the world. Sometimes, you don't even realise it's doing it.

World War H – or hate’s not all that

What do Shyamalan, World War Z and Man of Steel have in common? Hype - and hate.

https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/222186raindance.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/289307aint_them.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/600165about_time__1_.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/276452wadjda_top.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/783758world_war_h.jpg

Star Ratings

Well good


iFlicks on Twitter

Home Reviews LFF 2012 Reviews London Film Festival Review: Song for Marion
London Film Festival Review: Song for Marion Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 19 October 2012 15:25
Song for Marion London Film Festival
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Stamp, Gemma Arterton

Song for Marion premieres at the Odeon West End tonight, but if you’re planning to see it, you better hope that they fix the air conditioning in time: it rained on my face during the movie. Several times.


Frank (Stamp) is a grumpy old git. He doesn’t smile. He doesn’t sing. He doesn’t laugh. He doesn’t even like taking his wife, Marion (Redgrave), to singing practise. It’s hard to see why: happy doing everything from hip-hop and the Love Shack to AC/DC, The OAPz are a toe-tapping bunch of pensioners. Some of them can even dance the robot – intentionally.


But everything hits a bum note when Marion is told she's dying of cancer. She puts on a brave face. He scowls even more. His son (a curiously-accented Christopher Ecclestone) stops talking to him. Can Marion continue singing? Will Frank change his tune? Do The OAPz actually stand a chance of winning the upcoming choir contest?

There are no prizes for guessing how it all turns out. It’s basically Sister Act, but with old white people instead of Whoopi Goldberg. But while Paul Andrew Williams’ drama may be a spreadsheet titled Feel-Good Drama that ticks all the necessary boxes, it’s also the most moving spreadsheet you’ve ever seen.

Jumping from The Cottage to this, Williams handles the tonal shift impeccably, doing all the right things – cameras lingering in hallways, hushed confrontations in kitchens. And the cast are great. Stamp glowers like a man possessed, Gemma Arterton is adorable as the enthusiastic choir leader and Redgrave's wide-eyed optimism is heart-wrenching. One beautiful scene where she sings True Colours will leave you crying buckets - but that's just the warm-up act for the rousing finale. The words "Come on, granddad!" have never sounded so adorable.


Sister Act 3: Back in the Nursing Home. And in no way is that a bad thing.