7.0/10
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161 user 42 critic

Little Voice (1998)

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.

Director:

Mark Herman

Writers:

Jim Cartwright (play), Mark Herman (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brenda Blethyn ... Mari Hoff
Jane Horrocks ... LV
Ewan McGregor ... Billy
Philip Jackson ... George
Annette Badland ... Sadie
Michael Caine ... Ray Say
Jim Broadbent ... Mr. Boo
Adam Fogerty ... Bouncer
James Welsh James Welsh ... Bouncer
Karen Gregory Karen Gregory ... Stripper
Fred Feast ... Arthur
Graham Turner Graham Turner ... LV's Dad
George Oliver George Oliver ... Pawnbroker
Virgil Tracy Virgil Tracy ... Loan Advisor
Dick Van Winkle Dick Van Winkle ... Money Lender
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Storyline

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 | shy | recluse | singer | See All (102) »

Taglines:

A Comedy That Breaks the Records. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Голосок See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£761,094 (United Kingdom), 10 January 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,722, 6 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,595,000, 28 March 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax,Scala Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

LV could have possible autism or Asperger syndrome. See more »

Goofs

The character played by Michael Caine during a conversation with Jane Horrocks' character, when naming the famous people he had met in the past, called Matt Monro the singing bus "conductor", when in fact it is well known that Matt Monro was a bus "driver" before he became famous. See more »

Quotes

Ray Say: She'll go far, this one.
Mr. Boo: Yeah - Scunthorpe if she's lucky.
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 »

Connections

Featured in The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Chicago (that toddlin' town)
Written by Fred Fisher
Published by Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing/EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Jane Horrocks
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Extremely Touching
30 December 2003 | by SpikeWSee all my reviews

At the risk of sounding overly sentimental, this is perhaps one of the most touching films I have ever seen, and also one of the most surprising.

Jane Horrocks, Michael Caine and Ewan McGregor all turn in superb performances, with Brenda Blethyn being a tad melodramatic but remaining within the bounds of believability. It's a real pleasure to see Michael Caine in particular, in a role of a shoddy, second-rate agent who believes he's found his passport to 'the big time' in LV. That man is such a great actor.

Bypassing Jane Horrocks' astounding ability to mimic people, it's also a pleasure to see her on the big screen again: she does a heck of a lot of voice work, but to be honest I haven't seen her in a major role since 'Life Is Sweet'. She's a real star and can play demented, disordered, deranged or simply different people with such style...

As for 'Little Voice', the story is a fairly standard setup: unbearably shy LV has a talent, is discovered by the local agent, the road to riches and stardom opens... but love is in the offing, so which will she choose? That summary, however, is where the similarity to virtually any other 'standard' setup stops: LV does not want stardom. She doesn't even really know she has her talent, which is completely passive. Her choice is not between stardom or love.

Virtually nothing beyond the basic storyline is 'standard' here. There's no "*gasp* Wow!" surprises, but events turn in quite unexpected directions at all times. Many folks even complain at the end because "it isn't an end" or "it isn't what we want". That's another reason to love the film: it doesn't give the viewer a Hollywood (yawn) ending. It doesn't tie up all the loose strings.

It's like life: there's no tidy endings. Look past the obvious images and look at what's underneath. See the film for what it is, and enjoy.


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