STARRING Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor, Brenda Blethyn, Jane Horrocks
DIRECTED BY Mark Herman
When Herman (Brassed Off) set out to adapt this black comedy from the stage play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, he retained the show’s prize asset: Horrocks, who stars as a girl so pathologically shy she can communicate only by singing, and does dead-on impersonations of Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. ”It’s a little frightening, actually,” says Blethyn (Secrets & Lies), who plays Little Voice’s mother. McGregor plays L.V.’s friend; Caine is the has-been agent who, as he explains, is ”always in the pub, picking up ladies for a quick bang.” One of them turns out to be Blethyn, and ”while they’re shagging,” says Caine, ”he hears those creepy voices.” The next task? Getting the demented diva out of the house and onto a stage. ”It’s not an entirely black comedy,” admits Caine. ”I suppose it’s sort of brown … ” (Dec. 11)
THE LOWDOWN If only they gave out Oscars for casting.