Opening 15 Oct 2020
From a small military base outside London, troops are deploying to Afghanistan. Kate (Kristen Scott Thomas), the commander’s wife, based on her husband’s rank, has certain responsibilities for the welfare of the other spouses and their families that live on base. Kate takes her position very seriously. By contrast, Lisa (Sharon Horgan), who due to her husband’s promotion inherits the task of keeping everyone preoccupied with everything other than where their loved ones are serving, likes to keep things loose. For Lisa, having morning coffees together with no fixed agenda is just fine. Kate, however, has other very specific ideas. After a rather contentious coffee trying to set up activities to please everyone, a favorite idea emerges—a singing club (Lisa) or choir (Kate). Both Kate and Lisa compete for directing the singers and style of music, with their battles providing some of the more humorous scenes.
Against back stories of grief, insecurity, love and forgiveness, this light heavy-hearted film may irritate you for its formulaic scenes while plucking a few heart strings as background music. Eventually, singing leads to performing which leads to a dramatic performance by the choir at Royal Albert Hall.
The actors make the best of a weak script based on the true story behind the start of a military wives’ choirs. There is real camaraderie and at times, heart breaking emotion. Kirsten Scott Thomas gives a masterful portrayal of deep compassion with a British “stiff upper lip”. And there are some beautiful voices in the mix. Enjoy the performances but bring your tissues! (Mary Nyiri)