First up is "Song For Marion," which pairs old people and music in an ever so delightful concoction (sarcasm alert). Gemma Arterton plays Elizabeth, the volunteer leader of an elderly choir, who meets her match in Arthur (Terence Stamp), a grump who can barely tolerate his wife Marion's (Vanessa Redgrave) participation in this group. But nosey Elizabeth can't help but try and break through to Arthur, and pretty soon, songs are sung, tears are wiped away and lessons are learned. Awww. The film closed TIFF with a whisper, and as you might guess by now we didn't really care for it. No release date yet, and given the lukewarm reception, expect The Weinstein Company to drop the film sometime next year.
Meanwhile, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, "Quartet" also hit TIFF, bringing with it another story of Old People and Music. This time Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins star as four retired opera singers who are gearing up to celebrate Verdi's birthday, when a face from their past comes in and disrupts their lives to dramedic effect. We missed this one in Toronto, but we didn't hear much buzz about it on the floor. But the Weinsteins are hoping for some kind of awards season play, with the movie slated for a late game, December 28th release.