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1 item from 2001

Very Annie-Mary

7 June 2001 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

There are moments of real pleasure to be found in Sara Sugarman's whimsical comedy "Very Annie-Mary" but not enough to sustain the film. The film will undoubtedly have a life on the festival circuit and will make a fine video release. But its theatrical life will be short.

"Annie-Mary" was shot in and around Pontycymer in the Garw valley in South Wales (where Sugarman shot two earlier short films), and the writer-director does a splendid job capturing the joys and eccentricities of this fanciful world.

The opening sequences set the tone of the film, showing -- as credits roll -- Annie-Mary's father (the excellent Jonathan Pryce) driving his baker's van through the valleys wearing a Pavarotti mask and belting out Puccini over the van's speakers.

He is known to all as "the Voice of the Valleys" and keeps Annie-Mary (Rachel Griffiths), a gawky but endearing oddball, very much in his shadow. When she was 16, she was offered the chance to study singing in Milan, Italy, but turned it down because her mother was dying. When her father suffers a stroke, Annie-Mary finally seizes the chance to rebel, dreaming of how she might sell the bakery and buy her dream house.

But when her father returns home in a wheelchair as demanding as ever, she realizes how dependent he is on her. She sets about repainting the house, ineptly running the bakery and even joining a motley all-girl pop group named Hinge, Minge, Twinge and Bracket. To the amazement of all, the group wins a top prize of »

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