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FILM REVIEW: MILITARY WIVES (12A) ESP RATING: 4/5

I laughed, I cried, and I sub-consciously sang out loud – so I’d like to apologise to those sat next to me in the cinema!

I totally relate to Jude Law’s character in The Holiday. During one scene in the festive classic he states: ‘I cry all the time. A good book, a great film, a birthday card, I weep.’

Being a self-confessed ‘weeper’ – I had a feeling that Military Wives would open the ‘flood gates’ – and I wasn’t wrong.

Finally, we have a great film from director Peter Cattaneo that is almost as good as his BAFTA Award-winning The Full Monty.

Much like his classic from more than twenty years ago, these two movies have a lot in common – a rise-and-fall true story – but instead of ‘stripping’ we have ‘singing’.

This is how the group of military wives choose to distract themselves when their spouses lose communication while serving in Afghanistan.

Under the leadership of party girl Lisa (Sharon Horgan from TV’s Catastrophe) and the uptight Kate (Four Weddings and a Funeral’s Oscar-nominee Kristin Scott Thomas), what starts out as out-of-tune ‘singing’ slowly evolves into nothing short of true talent. And when the choir is asked to perform at the televised Festival of Remembrance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, can they overcome their nerves – and can the two leaders put aside their differences?

What I admired most about this movie is we got a real sense of the struggles of those related to the heroes fighting in wars – the people that may often be overlooked.

You’ll likely remember the real-life Military Wives Choir who took the Christmas Number One in 2011 with ‘Wherever You Are’ – but I doubt many will know the details that lead to this happening.

So yes, this may be highly recommended but personally I felt Military Wives also played it a little too safe.

I get it, when you’re making a movie about real people alongside such a difficult subject, you don’t want to risk offending anyone. However, with the characters not being as larger-than-life as those in The Full Monty, I fear this film won’t stay in my mind as much in comparison.

What we have here may not be a British classic – only time will tell – but it still makes for a great night out at the cinema nonetheless.

Go sing your hearts out. 

Rating: 4/5

Mikey Clarke

Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan, Jason Flemyng, Teresa Mahoney, Lara Rossi & Amy James-Kelly

Running Time: 1 Hr 53 Mins

Director: Peter Cattaneo

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Legend

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