Acting

Brenda Blethyn and Jane Horrocks in Little Voice – Movie Monologues Monday

This week we’re changing the name slightly to Movie Monologues Monday because this week we’re featuring two fantastic monologues that come one after another in Little Voice.

Laura Hoff (Jane Horrocks) is a girl who has become a recluse following her father’s death. People call her LV (“Little Voice”) because she’s so reserved. She spends her days listening to her father’s records and it turns out that she’s a brilliant singer. Her abusive mother (played by Brenda Blethyn) torments her in this first monologue and we learn that the records that LV so treasures have been destroyed.

And here is LV’s response:

These are brilliant to watch back to back (they flow exactly this way in the movie) because there is a complete reversal of status between them. Blethyn’s mother has all the power in the first monologue and Horrocks’ LV has all the power in the second. The shift is immediate.

Class Exercise

Watch the video and discuss these questions. Don’t worry about whether or not everyone has seen the whole movie. Fill in the missing details using what you see, hear, and imagine.

  • Who do you see as the higher status character in the first monologue? The girl or the mother?
  • Who do you see as the higher status character in the second monologue? The girl or the mother?
  • What causes the girl to finally fight back?
  • What is the purpose of the flashlight? What does it say about the mother? Why would the filmmakers choose to light the scene this way?
  • At the beginning of the girl’s monologue, she screams silently, then screams aloud, then finally speaks. What does this symbolize?
  • Has she ever spoken to her mom like this before?
  • What do you think happens next?
  • Compare their costumes and makeup. What do their clothes and makeup tell you about their characters?
  • Why does the girl repeat the word “nights” so many times?

About the author

Craig Mason