The new film Paul Andrew Williams is a pure example of film that has a simple story and tells it well. It’s a unusual u-tune for the directer after making home grown british horror/thrillers such as the slapstick gore fest like The Cottage or the uncomfortable insanity of The Children. This is the sort of film were you would feel more comfortable taking your grandmother to that could grow to be a british classic. It tells the tale of Arther, played in fantastically grumpy fashion by Terrence Stamp, who wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave)is terminally ill. Set in his ways, he is more concerned about caring and protecting him fragile wife who is more concerned on living in the time she has left and is taken to singing in the local seniors’ choir much to Arthers annoyance who believes Marion should be resting. When his wife health worsens, Arther makes a promise to take her place and sing a solo in a local concert.
Stamp can do grumpy like no one else and balances it with just enough vulnerably that doesn’t feel too pushed or contrived. Gemma Arterton is just a little bundle of joy and loveliness as the leader of the choir who likes to add a modern touch, teaching them about heavy metal and doing the robot dance. It is a role that could easily verge towards being irritable but Arterton is very naturalistic that it’s hard not to fall in love with her. Featuring solid support from Christopher Eccleston as the son who supports his mothers desire to live and Redgrave is great as always. What really makes Song for Marion a success is the real heart beneath Stamps performance. It is a very typical story of someone who has closed themselves off from the world finding his way to embrace it once again but by the time you reach the pivotal song of the title that he sings live in one take, you hard pushed not to be moved..