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Little Voice [DVD]
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'Little Voice' (Jane Horrocks) is a social introvert, unwilling to communicate with the outside world since the death of her father. Her only escape from the drudgery of her existence is through singing classic showtunes in the style of her glamourous heroes. When a sleazy showbiz agent (Michael Caine) overhears her singing, he is determined to make her a star and become rich in the process. But despite all his charm and promises, Little Voice is reluctant to take to the stage, preferring to talk to telephone engineer Billy (Ewan McGregor) and stay at home. However, as the pressure on her to perform grows, will she be able to resist the lure of showbiz? Michael Caine won a Golden Globe for his performance.
Michael Caine was robbed of an Oscar. He gives his finest performance in a decade as big-talking small-time agent Ray Say, a paunchy, pale life-of-the-party hiding his desperation under gold chains and cool bravura. When he hears the almost magical voice of Jane Horrocks's meek little LV (short for Little Voice) fill her bedroom with the rich voice of Judy Garland, he sees his ticket to the big time. Little Voice is ostensibly LV's story, and in fact the original play was written for Horrocks, whose amazing vocal impressions of Garland, Shirley Bassey, and Marilyn Monroe (among others) form the centrepiece performance of the film. But as directed by Mark Herman (Brassed Off), the story of this mousy girl who shuts herself in from a bellowing world is just as overwhelmed by the bombastic characters as LV herself. Brenda Blethyn babbles a blue streak as LV's overbearing mother, Mari, an ageing widow who escapes her unhappiness in carousing and becomes almost pathologically jealous when Ray's attentions turn from her to LV. As Ray puts his dreams on the line for LV's showcase, he reveals his true self: a venal man who spits and barks out his bottled-up anger in an astoundingly bile-filled delivery of Roy Orbison's "It's Over". The showstopping moment once again overwhelms LV's tale, but Caine's performance is so astounding it seems a fair trade --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Then, in one of those scenes that delightfully catches us by surprise, both Ray and the audience learn that LV might not talk, but she can sing. More to the point, she can sing like the singers on the records she listens to, which means we are talking Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, and other music icons. Ray has dollar signs in his eyes that blind him to the obvious amorous affections of Mari as the big question becomes how to get the timid LV upon on the stage at the club of Mr. Boo (Jim Broadhurst).Read more ›
Two men look set to change all that: There's the shy telephone engineer who notices LV and wants to get to know her better. There is also her mother's latest boyfriend who happens to be a small time promoter. After an accident with the electrical system, Ray notices the talent LV has and realises the money he could make if he could get the shy girl to sing on stage.
At the end of the day, the film is a coming of age drama which shows LV as she grows out of her shell. The characters are well drawn and believable. The setting, working class Northern England, adds to the feeling of bleakness in LV's life.
I confess that I'm not that big a fan of the coming of age genre. Having the main part given to someone who is clearly not an adolescent (even though she lives in the past) at the start is refreshing. I found the film compelling whilst watching it but, after it finished, was slightly disappointed.
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, which 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 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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ordered one day late afternoon and DVD arrived the next morning... . ExcellentPublished 24 days ago by Mrs Janet Davidson
Love this film so much. All the actors are amazing. Jane Horrocks certainly has an amazing voice. Brilliant British film that I never tire of watching. Top class!Published 2 months ago by kate
This is for my Husband he only saw about half when on the other night as I have Christmas and Birthday to do this was a very good buyPublished 4 months ago by tricia
great DVD loved it michael cain was fantastic but they all were cant wait to watch it again , it arrived b4 the due date good story .Published 6 months ago by jean jeanes