Little Voice ★★★★
Showing on the same night (at a more conducive hour) as the 2014 James Brown biopic Get On Up, Little Voice offers a singing performance every bit as compelling as Chadwick Boseman’s turn as the soul superstar. In Mark Herman’s 1998 adaptation of Jim Cartwright’s play, Jane Horrocks revives her star-making theatrical performance as the grieving Scarborough girl who sings remarkably along to old records in her room. As a result, she is reluctantly manoeuvred into the spotlight by sleazy agent Michael Caine, her lusty mother Brenda Blethyn’s boyfriend. When Horrocks — already known for Life Is Sweet, Ab Fab and her own Never Mind the Horrocks — interprets Over the Rainbow, Big Spender and other classics, it’s more than mere mimicry. Elsewhere, telecoms engineer Ewan McGregor is her shy suitor and Jim Broadbent the club owner who puts her on the bill, with a fabulously neat, if fraught, outcome for all.
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