sat 14/12/2019

LFF 2012: Song for Marion | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2012: Song for Marion

LFF 2012: Song for Marion

Terence Stamp comes back yet again, in a tender romance with Vanessa Redgrave

Little voice: Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) encourages Arthur (Terence Stamp) to express himself

Terence Stamp is rediscovered as a leading man once a decade. There was The Hit (1984), The Limey (1999), and now this. He reappears every time with his famous beauty weathered but more attractive, his masculine mystery deeper, steely dignity unruffled. Song for Marion pairs him with one of his great Sixties peers, Vanessa Redgrave, as long-married Arthur and Marion.

Arthur’s hostility to expressing emotion has alienated son James (Christopher Eccleston), and he can’t change even as Marion suffers with cancer while singing in a choir he can’t bring himself to join, despite the entreaties of choir-mistress Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). The final of a national choral competition provides the now standard climax of every British wannabe feel-good hit. You can see the gaffer-tape joining these limp clichés and a straighter, truer tale of long-term love and family wounds.

Director Paul Andrew Williams was widely felt to have derailed debut London to Brighton’s promise with the larky horror comedy The Cottage, but as in all his work, the excellent cast give him everything they’ve got. Redgrave plays sunny and frail in startling contrast to her fierce potency in last year’s Coriolanus. Stamp stays strong and self-sufficient, hiding the gaping hole Marion's loss will leave. And when his big moment comes, he calibrates raw emotion and necessary control in a piece of pure English soul singing, entirely in character. With Amour, Robot & Frank and The Delay too, it’s been a banner year at the LFF for exploding the myth that only the young have stories, or an audience to hear them. At 74, Stamp is in his prime.

When his big moment comes, Stamp calibrates raw emotion and necessary control in a piece of pure English soul singing

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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