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Little Voice (1998)

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A shy reclusive lady is convinced by an invisible entity to sing. Subsequently, she finds herself noticed by a sleazy talent agent and her talent being showcased on-stage. She also meets a kind but nervous man who becomes her best friend.



(play), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Welsh ...
Karen Gregory ...
Fred Feast ...
Graham Turner ...
LV's Dad
George Oliver ...
Virgil Tracy ...
Loan Advisor
Dick Van Winkle ...
Money Lender


The pathetically shy LV lives the life of a recluse listening to her late father's old records in her room and in the process driving her abusive, loud-mouthed mother, Mari Hoff, to distraction. At night, however, when her father's ghost visits, LV sings the songs of the great divas such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Bassey. One evening LV is overheard by one of her mother's loathsome boyfriends, the disastrous dead-end talent scout Ray Say, who recognizes her innate talent and realizes this is his last big chance for the glittering prizes. Gambling everything Ray Say forces LV to appear at a local run-down, seedy night club run by Mr. Boo. As preparations for the big event proceed apace LV meets the equally shy Billy, a pigeon-racing telephone engineer and they form a tentative, gentle friendship. The big night finally arrives and everything is in readiness, the band, the club and even a big agent from London, but what about LV? Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

talent | mother | recluse | singer | shy | See All (101) »


A Comedy That Breaks the Records. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

4 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cordes sensibles  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$93,722 (USA) (4 December 1998)


$4,595,000 (USA) (26 March 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ewan McGregor's character does not appear in the original stage play. Mark Herman - who had just worked with McGregor on Brassed Off (1996) - liked the actor so much, he created the part specially for him. See more »


Quote from Mari Hoff: "What's up with you lots, never had a shag in a Chevy?" Ray Say's car is a 1972 Delta 88 Oldsmobile Convertible See more »


[L.V blares music while Mari is with Ray, Mari runs to the bottom of the stairs and shouts]
Mari: Cool it will ya' think of the fucking neighbours!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks to ... Jason Wheeler and Team, ... Staff at St. Nicholas Hotel, Wreahead Hotel and East Ayton Lodge, ... The People of Scarborough ... North Yorkshire Police (Scarborough Department), Scarborough Borough Council, South Bay Traders Association, Haven Holidays (Cayton Bay), Stephen Joseph Theatre. See more »


References TFI Friday (1996) See more »


Get Happy
Written by Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler (as Ted Toehler)
Published by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd/EMI Publishing Ltd/S & A Music
Performed by Jane Horrocks
Arranged by John Altman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I Never Thought I`d Enjoy This
20 March 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

To be blunt the only reason I watched LITTLE VOICE was because there was absolutely nothing else on and I was expecting some sort of substandard Mike Leigh film . And I wasn`t expecting my opinion to be swayed either as the opening credits rolled , based on a stage play and full of actors with " Eee by gum " northern accents and with a foul mouthed mother bullying her painfully introverted daughter this had all the hallmarks of a tedious 90 minutes , but the more the film went on the more I became engrossed . I`ve never seen Jim Cartwright`s play so I can`t comment if Mark Herman`s script is an improvement but what a great script it is , something that touches your heart and makes you smile . The scene with LV singing a medley is uplifting while the scenes with " Take Fat " and Trigger Smith - Knife thrower will make you laugh outloud . This is a great feel good movie with a great cast , Michael Caine and Jim Broadbent are very good ( Well they do have three Oscars between them ) , Ewan McGregor gives one of his better performances and Brenda Blethyn deserved her Oscar nod , but standing head and shoulders above the entire cast is Jane Horrocks as LV . The fact that she wasn`t Oscar nominated in the title role is one of the biggest travesties in recent academy award history

Just to sum up this is a great film . British cinema experienced an upturn in the 1990s with the likes of THE CRYING GAME , FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL , and THE FULL MONTY , but these films are as overrated as much as LITTLE VOICE is underrated . LITTLE VOICE is one of the best Brit flicks from the most recent golden age of British cinema

32 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jane done all her own singing angelicpunk88
Michael Caine's Performance aqua100
Ewan's character... Daisy_M
whole big yelling scene at the end? chocolatechip07
Brilliant performance by Jane Horrocks annehager
song questions,please help! hwang33kimo
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