When The Weinstein Company snatched up the rights to “Song for Marion” last fall, which was in post-production at the time, we figured the movie was a no-brainer for the kind crowd-pleasing sleeper hit that Harvey knows how to turn into Oscar gold. A 2012 release seemed inevitable. But since then, relatively little has been heard about the movie. It hasn’t popped up on any of the fall festival slates, there is no release date set either in its native U.K. or in the U.S., and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a priority for the distributor at the moment. But then again, in a year that has them handling new films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Andrew Dominik, perhaps it’s understandable.
At any rate, in case you’re wondering what “Song for Marion” might look like, an image of Gemma Arterton conducting has trickled onto the web. Written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams (“London to Brighton“), the film features a strong cast and tells the story of Arthur (Terence Stamp), a grumpy old man in the North of England whose wife, Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), is the member of a choir for pensioners run by a young music teacher (Arterton). When Marion is stricken with cancer, Arthur finds himself becoming involved with the singing group, to the surprise of his estranged son (Christopher Eccleston). And from there it turns into the stuff movies like “Brassed Off,” “The Full Monty” and “Calendar Girls” are made of, with the mix of heart and broad appeal Harvey can market and make a mint off of in his sleep.
But as for now, it’s off the calendar and our guess is that it won’t be an awards player, but perhaps an early 2013 programmer (probably hoping to match the kind of success Fox Searchlight had with their geriatric “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” this year). So, until a firmer plan comes into play this pic will have to do for now. [MovieScope]