Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom, 1998. Miramax, Scala Productions. Screenplay by Mark Herman, based on the play by Jim Cartwright. Cinematography by Andy Collins. Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen. Music by John Altman. Production Design by Don Taylor. Costume Design by Lindy Hemming. Film Editing by Michael Ellis.
Cute musical film about a super-talented mimic (Jane Horrocks, in a role that was written for her) living in a dull northern England town who is discovered by a chintzy agent (Michael Caine) who wants to make her a big star. Trouble is, she’s painfully shy, unwilling to even talk to strangers, and is ruled over by a terrifying bully of a mother (a heavenly Brenda Blethyn) while she secludes herself in her attic room with her father’s old records. The film ends up being less important than it wants to be, but the musical number that Horrocks performs at the centre of the piece is so wonderful that it makes up for everything else that is rather limp about the story (particularly the fact that it was too obviously written around Horrocks’ talent for imitating famous voices).
Academy Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Blethyn)
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Michael Caine)
Nominations: Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Jane Horrocks); Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Blethyn)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations: Best Ensemble Cast; Best Actress (Jane Horrocks); Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Blethyn)