World-class stars Michael Caine (HANNAH AND HER SISTERS), Brenda Blethyn (SECRETS AND LIES), and Ewan McGregor (STAR WARS: EPISODE I, BLACK HAWK DOWN) deliver acclaimed performances in an inspirational story about a painfu... more »lly shy young woman and how the power of music leads her to an amazing transformation! A hopeless introvert, "Little Voice," (Jane Horrocks, TV's ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS) can only manage to express herself by singing in the timeless voices of Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and others. But once her eccentric mother's (Blethyn) new boyfriend -- a sleazy talent scout (Caine) overhears Little Voice's incredible crooning, he'll do anything to drag the recluse into the spotlight and make her a star! Cheered by critics everywhere -- don't miss your chance to enjoy this truly exceptional motion picture!« less
"Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn, Ewan McGregor, and Jane Horrocks give absolutely stellar performances in this wonderfully quirky film. The title of the film refers to Jane Horrocks' character who is called "Little Voice" or LV, for short.
LV is a mousy, meek, painfully shy and reclusive little thing with an itty bitty speaking voice. She is totally overwhelmed by her brazen and common mother, Mari (Brenda Blethyn), who treats LV with scarcely concealed contempt. Part of that contempt is fueled by LV's devotion to her late father's memory and her fondness for old time musical stars. She has a collection of records by those long ago stars, that she plays over and over, a collection that she apparently inherited from her beloved father.
Her passion for this music drives her mother crazy, as it seems to remind Mari of her late husband, whom she apparently held in the same regard in which she holds LV. Only Billy (Ewan MCGregor), the local telephone repairman, a sensitive, young man who trains and raises pigeons as a hobby, seems to talk to LV as if she were a sentient being.
Mari begins dating Ray Say (Michael Caine), an over the hill, has been talent scout. Mari is pathetic, as she tries desperately to hang on to whatever vestiges of her youth remain. Ray, a sleazy opportunist, who thinks that he is God's gift to women, does not exactly reciprocate Mari's lavish affections. I cannot, however, think of two people who deserve each other more.
One day, LV is in her room singing, and Ray overhears her, but what he hears is "Judy Garland". It seems that LV can sing and sound exactly like those old time musical stars. Ray is in seventh heaven with his discovery. You can almost see the dollar signs in his eyes. He will do whatever it takes to get LV on stage, though his unctiousness towards her only serves to fuel Mari's jealousy of Ray's attention to her daughter.
Ultimately, Mari and Ray band together, however, as LV is their meal ticket to fame and fortune, if they can only get her to overcome her shyness and reclusiveness. They do not, however, understand why she sings. It is this lack of perception that that will, in the end, be their undoing.
Nonetheless, LV goes on to give one of the most show stopping performances ever to grace center stage. The transformation is incredible. Jane Horrocks gives a performance to be remembered! The only question is whether Ray and Mari can get LV to sing more than once. See the movie and find out for yourself. This is, without a doubt, an exceptional film.
A little known film that needs it's own spotlight!
Sara | New York, NY | 07/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie on a whim. For those people, like myself, who haven't yet taken the big steps into 'indie' films, this movie is a good place to start. It's about Little Voice (played by an amazingly talented Jane Horrocks, where did this girl come from?), a young woman with a voice that's barely above a whisper. And living with her mother (played by the enjoyable Brenda Blethyn), I can understand why. But LV has got something about her. When she wants to express herself she opens up her mouth and sings. What I was suprised to learn was that Ms.Horrocks does all of her own singing, which is amazing! Needless to say, it's not long before people are discovering her, including sleazy agent Micheal Caine and sweet pidgeon messenger Ewan McGregor. I'm not going to say any more, I want everyone to see this movie, because it really is a fantastic one! It's too bad it's not more well known, because the performances are great, the acting is superb, and the whole feel of the movie is one that makes you want to get up and dance!"
Little Voice is a BIG surprise!
Craig Bonney | Sydney, Australia | 09/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't expecting great things when I first sat down to watch "Little Voice". My God, was I blown away. What a movie! What a cast! And Jane Horrocks (Bubble from "Absolutely Fabulous") what a voice! A shy, young introvert (Horrocks) locks herself away in her room where she mimicks Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Bassey in an attempt to escape her over-bearing, loud, common mother (played to the hilt by the brilliant Blethyn). Enter a sleazy, slimy talent agent (Caine) who discovers her and tries to cash in on Little Voice's amazing talent. I won't say too much more except you MUST buy this movie to add to your DVD library! If only to hear Horrocks' voice. Yes, she actually sang all the numbers herself in this movie....AMAZING! Why didn't this movie win an Academy Award for something? Who votes in the winners? Are they blind as well as deaf? What's wrong with Hollywood today?"
Jonathan Appleseed | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.
Jane Horrocks, who played numerous characters in the cult English sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous", shines here as a sorrowfully shy girl with a talent beyond belief.
After her father died, many years ago, she resigned herself to listening to his old records, and singing along with them. She soon became a virtuoso, capable of imitating Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and others. In equally brilliant performances, Michael Caine and Brenda Blethyn (Pride and Prejudice) the former wants to bring LV's talent to the world, certain that great riches are but a step away. Brenda (LV's mom) is at first completely oblivious to her daughters talent, as she is far too egocentric to notice anything or anyone but herself - unless it's a man. In that case, she's quite the player.
There is a somewhat interesting - although perhaps unnecessary - love interest between LV and Billy (Ewan McGregor). It seems to serve as helping LV to open up to the world, but there are so many things/occurrences that can happen to a person that incite change that I'm a little fed up with movies taking the easy way out with a love interest. AND, there was such an occurrence in the film itself. Still, Ewan plays his part well, and while his interest in LV is a bit difficult to understand, it's not entirely unbelievable.
What IS unbelievable is Jane Horrocks's amazing voice. You'd think that the filmmakers would have her lip synch while either a recording of Judy Garland, or someone who could imitate her, was singing. But they didn't need to do so. Horrocks did so herself. She imitated all of the artist's brilliantly, and nearly perfectly.
It was easy to see, after this performance, what a remarkably gifted actress she is. The characters she played on "AbFab" were hysterical and widely variant, though she is best known as the mentally challenged Bubble. "
Lions, Tigers and Bears? Ooooh, Yeah!
Reviewer | 05/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An introverted young lady who cherishes her late father and keeps his memory alive through his beloved record collection is at the heart of "Little Voice," directed by Mark Herman. Jane Horrocks gives an amazing performance as Laura, the shy girl with, as it turns out, a very big voice and the uncanny ability to mimic Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe, among others, to perfection. She lives with her mother, Mari (Brenda Blethyn), a vociferous floozy, in an apartment above their small record store. Laura (whom Mari calls "L.V." because of her retiring manner and the fact that she rarely speaks above a whisper), spends an inordinate amount of time retreating from her mother to the sanctuary of her bedroom and her dad's records, where she immerses herself into the music, as well as the persona, of whichever artist she is listening to at the time. For the most part she is ignored by her mother, who also dismisses L.V.'s talent purely out of disregard. Enter Ray Say (Michael Caine), a sleazy, contemptuous, small time theatrical agent, who is picked up and dragged home one night by Mari. It isn't long, of course, before he discovers L.V. When he hears Judy Garland's voice coming from her bedroom, he thinks he's found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; this has The Big Time written all over it. All he has to do now is figure out how to get L.V., the veritable recluse, up in front of an audience. Adapted for the screen by Mark Herman, from Jim Cartwright's play "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice" (written originally to showcase Horrock's unique talents), the success of the movie is assured by a cast that delivers quality performances all around. Jane Horrocks does all of her own singing, and when she finally breaks loose it is truly a delight. And Herman must be given credit for not allowing it to be over done; he gives you just enough of L.V. to keep it exciting and leave you wanting more. Michael Caine gives an inspired performance that easily should have won him an Oscar. His Ray Say is so finely shaded that you know exactly who and what he is, yet he manages to overlay him with a smarmy, irresistible charm that keeps him accessible. His rendering of Roy Orbison's "It's Over" is an unforgettable cinematic moment. Brenda Blethyn is outstanding as well, making Mari just unlikable enough that you can still empathize with her when she finally gets her comeuppance. Ewan McGregor adds a subtle charm to the film as Billy, the telephone repairman who finds a kindred spirit in L.V, and Jim Broadbent gives a humorous turn as Mr. Boo, owner of the venue Ray engages for L.V.'s debut. Rounding out the supporting cast are Philip Jackson (George), Annette Badland (Sadie), Fred Feast (Arthur) and Graham Turner (L.V.'s father). Funny, and touching as well, "Little Voice" is solid entertainment well presented. It's one you're going to remember, even after, as Ray Say says, "It's over.""