A geriatric Glee? Film industry guns for the pensioner pound in 2013 with Song for Marion and Quartet

Alice's Jones Arts Diary

Next year is lining up to be the battle of the pensioners in cinemas.

Taking a lead from last year’s surprise retirement hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which grossed $134million worldwide, two new films are gunning for the grey pound with veteran actors and storylines.

First up, in January, is Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet, a gentle comedy set in a home for retired opera singers, starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly. Hot on its heels in February comes Song for Marion, a geriatric Glee, which tells the story of a grumpy old man (Terence Stamp) who joins a quirky choir, called OAPZ, to help him through the terminal illness of his wife (Vanessa Redgrave).

Gemma Arterton plays  the conductor who leads the OAPZ through unlikely hits such as “Let’s Talk About Sex” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. The movie is directed by Paul Andrew Williams whose previous films include London to Brighton, a gritty drama about child prostitution and two gory horrors, The Cottage and Cherry Tree Lane. It’s quite the change of direction and reviews out of the Toronto and London film festivals were lukewarm. But if it does even half of the box office of the Marigold Hotel, its producers, the Weinstein Company, will be happy.

Also in the arts diary

Viva Forever! snubs Spice Girls' solo songs (apart from Ginger Spice's, that is)

Sara Pascoe's new play The Endings; and is euthanasia suitable for comedy?

@alicevjones

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