2197. Little Voice (1998)

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7.1 Pleasant and uplifting
  • Acting 7.3
  • Directing 6.9
  • Story 7.2
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Jane Horrocks, Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn

Director: Mark Herman

Running Time: 96 mins


Little Voice is a British film about a timid young woman with a passion for singing who is discovered by an entertainment agent who attempts to bring her out of her shell to perform for the world.

It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed Little Voice. A film with a sweet and simple premise, plus a good few musical numbers and some very energetic performances, it’s an entertaining watch throughout, and with that small-town vibe, it’s pleasant and simple enough right the way through to sit back and smile at.

Before we get into what’s good about it, however, I think that we need to talk about the film’s biggest problem. Unfortunately, while there is quite a lot to love about Little Voice, its largest issues lie within the way in which the main character is portrayed.

Centring on a young woman shy to come out of her bedroom, yet hiding an incredible talent, you’d think it’d be perfect for a delightfully uplifting story of a wonderful woman coming out of her shell and achieving success.

However, when showing her as a timid and shy character, the film goes way overboard. She barely speaks a word, and almost isn’t in the film for the first act, with the majority of the spotlight going to her boisterous mother. Of course, that contrast is part of the reason she’s so shy, but I felt that the degree to which the story decides to write her as such is just too much to really believe, and makes for frustrating watching as you never grow to know and love the main character that you’re meant to support so mcuh.

Despite that, the rest of the film is simple and entertaining enough to give you a lovely way to spend an hour and a half. I really wish that the main character was written better, but at least the supporting players, particularly the mother played by Brenda Blethyn and the talent agent played by Michael Caine, bring some great energy to proceedings, with their reckless and juvenile relationship proving the catalyst for all sorts of mishaps throughout.

There is a secondary story centring on our main young woman, played by Jane Horrocks, and her romance with a young man played by Ewan McGregor, however the lack of connection that you feel to her means that side of the story feels totally irrelevant, leaving Little Voice ultimately more memorable for the other side of the story with its more rambunctious personalities.

It is pleasant right the way through, and its very light comedy combined with a sweet little story set in a small town is definitely enough to make you smile, but there just isn’t enough in the main part of the story to make it a really engrossing watch, which is why I’m giving Little Voice a 7.1 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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