FINDING YOUR OWN VOICE CAN BE MAGIC.
When talent scout Ray Say (Michael Caine) hears how a reclusive young woman called Little Voice (Jane Horrocks) is able to imitate the singing voices of stars like Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe to uncanny effect, he sees a chance to finally make money. Horrocks honed her performance on the stage and is terrific in the role of a lifetime as the mousy girl with a tremendous gift; she does her own singing and sounds just like those old stars. Caine and Brenda Blethyn try to out-scream and out-vulgar each other in their performances, but manage to convey a sense of tragedy in their beaten-down characters. The movie as a whole is funny and touching.
1998-Britain-U.S. 96 min. Color. Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen. Written and directed by Mark Herman. Play: Jim Cartwright (”The Rise and Fall of Little Voice”). Cast: Jane Horrocks (Laura “LV” Hoff), Michael Caine (Ray Say), Brenda Blethyn (Mari Hoff), Jim Broadbent, Ewan McGregor, Annette Badland.
Golden Globe: Best Actor (Caine).
Last word: “There had been a few screenplays. Jim Cartwright – who wrote the original play – had done one, and so had Sam [Mendes]. I felt they were all a bit stage-bound so felt I could only direct it if I could have a fresh run at the screenplay. There were also some casting issues to agree upon. I had heard some ugly rumours and wanted to be absolutely sure Jane Horrocks would be playing Little Voice, otherwise the project didn’t appeal to me. The rumours were that it was to be set in America, with an American cast, and having been knocked out by the stage play a couple of years earlier, I couldn’t quite get a grasp on that.” (Herman, Den of Geek)