That phrase will mean something to those paying attention when it comes to the film Song For Marion. That phrase ‘For Family’ sums the film up perfectly.
Anyone who has a family, or anyone who had a family. Anyone who would like a family or whos friends have a family. Need I go on.
It has taken me a couple of weeks to finally see Song For Marion (titled: Unfinished Song when its released in the US in June)
It wasnt for want of trying, it was just schedules and time issues that caused the delay. I have wanted to see this film since I first heard it announced by Paul Andrew Williams (the films writer and director)
As I sit here at home, typing this article. I have just finished the film. Perhaps 2 hours ago (took a little while to get home by bus, and I had to do a little shopping)
So, what were my thoughts on the film. Well before I delve into the film itself,I need to give some praise to my local(ish) cinema in Burnley.
I have visited the Apollo cinema many times over the years, as far back as the mid 90s to this present day. Recently the organisation Reel have taken over the chain and boy oh boy can you tell.
I am not sure on the specifications, but you can tell they have installed new equipment in that place.The picture quality is amazing. Talk about a giant leap from the cinema screens I remember from that cinema as well as all the other ones I have frequented. So a huge pat on the back for whoever decided to upgrade the quality in Burnley Cinema. Very impressive.
Now, onto the film.
There you go, thats my review on Song For Marion. WOW.
Oh I suppose I should go into a bit more depth shouldnt I. Seeing as you asked, I shall.
I have read and retweeted so many Tweets about the film before today, so I thought I knew what to expect and I knew what the film would try and make me feel. Therefor If I knew what the filmmakers were trying to get me to feel, then it should be easy tolet that wash over me and not really feel any emotion..right?
The first time you are hit with emotion is literally two or three minutes into the film and it just keeps hammering away at you. Sitting there with a little smile on my face for the entire running time. This film has it all. Happy, sad, funny, tear jerking, thought provoking, all of these come at you time and time again making me do something that very few films EVER, have done. Feel.
Terence Stamp is amazing in his portrayal of Arthur, a grumpy old bugger whose wife Marion (also wonderful played by Vanessa Redgrave) has her heart set on performing in a choir along with a wonderful group of old aged pensioners.
Christopher Eccleston is onboard as James, Arthur & Marion’s son, and a wonderful actress Orla Hill plays the daughter of James. There really is someone in this film that everyone can relate to.
I havent seen a film for such a long time that has made me laugh and cry so much. Yes, Im a male and here I am admitting to having tears streaming down my face and laughter exiting my mouth (at different times).
I exited the film wondering what the best thing about the film was. What was it that made me feel the way I did. Of course it was a mixture of things but the following are the main ‘culprits’
1: The writing by Paul Andrew Williams once again is just brilliant. I have talked about how much of a fan I am of his work in a previous blog entry but to look at Song For Marion and remember that this is the same guy who wrote London to Brighton 7 Cherry Tree Lane. Watch those three films back to back and youll realise how damned talented this man is with his words.
2: The performances by the cast. The ‘eyes’, thats one thing I did notice. So many of the key scenes are told not by words,but by looks, by body language and just by the light shining in someones eyes. Truly brilliant
3:The music. A beautiful score by Laura Ross (who has also composed such films as Precious & London to Brighton,) Laura’s music fits perfectly in the film,and I do hope somewhere out there either now or soon, there is a score CD.I know id purchase it.
So those are the trinity of culprits that when added together caused me to cry in the cinema auditorium. But it wasnt just me.
Annette (my partner) had tears on her face from start to finish and the two ladies sat in front of us also had tears, and laughter on their faces at various points. I took the liberty of asking them what they thought of the film once the credits had rolled to the sounds of ‘Unfinished Song’ and they said ‘we loved it, just the sort of film two widows like us needed to see’
I would urge you to go and see this film.give the CGI infested Hollywood blockbusters a rest for a change and take someone you care about to see Song For Marion. Itll remind you about life, itll remind you about whats important and whats not important.
And to sign off this article with a phrase that Paul Andrew Williams uses regarding this film. Go and see it