Little Voice ★★★★
In this comedy drama, Jane Horrocks reprises her stage performance as the reclusive girl whose virtuoso impersonations of the great singers – among them Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland – contrast with her almost total shyness. Her talents are belatedly recognised by sleazy agent Michael Caine, who’s prepared to endure the attentions of her sexually predatory mother (Brenda Blethyn) as long as he can make some money out of that voice. The brilliance of Horrocks is slightly undermined by director Mark Herman’s crude depiction of working-class life in a northern seaside town, while Blethyn’s strident squawking almost threatens to drown out the more subtle, Cinderella-like undertones of the story. But there’s good support from Jim Broadbent as a nightclub boss and Ewan McGregor as the bashful singer’s would-be suitor. In any other country, this would have made Horrocks a major star.
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