Very Annie Mary


1h 43m 2001
Very Annie Mary

Brief Synopsis

When Annie Mary was 16, she was offered a scholarship to sing in Milan, but was never allowed to go because her mother was dying. Now Annie Mary is 33 and no longer sings. She lives under the shadow of her chapel-strict father, known to all as "The Voice of the Valleys," who sees himself as a buddin

Film Details

Also Known As
Annie-Mary ` la folie!, Annie-Mary a la folie!, Very Annie-Mary
MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
2001
Production Company
Arts Council of England; Cinesite Europe, Ltd.; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Frameline Ltd; Framestore Cfc; Le Studio Canal Plus; Le Studio Canal Plus; Mcdonald & Rutter; Peerless Camera Company; StudioCanal; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
Empire Pictures; Eone; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Frenetic Films; Mars Distribution
Location
Wales, United Kingdom; Pontycymer, Wales, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Synopsis

When Annie Mary was 16, she was offered a scholarship to sing in Milan, but was never allowed to go because her mother was dying. Now Annie Mary is 33 and no longer sings. She lives under the shadow of her chapel-strict father, known to all as "The Voice of the Valleys," who sees himself as a budding Pavarotti. She wants to break free, but her father has a stroke and demands even more of her. When she finally rebels, the whole village becomes involved in a competition to raise money and get Annie's terminally ill best friend, 16-year-old, Bethan Bevan to Disneyland. Unfortunately Annie loses all the money they win betting on horses! She is now the most unpopular person in the village until she is asked to sing again... and Annie Mary realises that she can, at last, move on.

Crew

Barry Ackroyd

Director Of Photography

Giuseppe Adami

Song ("Nessun Dorma")

Paula Boram

Foley Artist

Tom Bowes

Other

Danielle Brandon

Production Coordinator

Veronica Brebner

Hair & Make-Up Designer

Graham Broadbent

Producer

Pail Brodene-smith

Song Peformer ("O Sole Mio")

Elaine Chin

Development Executive

Rhiannon Cousins

Assistant Director

Andie Derrick

Foley Artist

Chris Dibble

Other

Tim Ellis

Art Director

John Fell

Special Effects Wireman

Terry Forrestal

Stunt Coordinator

Chris Forster

Storyboard Artist

Giovacchino Forzano

Songs ("Happy Birthday" "I Heard You Calling Me" "Come Back To Sorrento" "Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" "Bohemian Rhapsody" "Dance Club" "We'Ll Keep A Welcome" "O Mio Babbino Caro")

Liz Gallacher

Music Supervisor

Joyce Gallie

Casting

Rebecca Gillies

Set Decorator

Andy Glen

Music Editor

Sian Grigg

Daily Hair & Makeup Artist

Ioan Gruffudd

Song Performer ("You Can'T Get A Man With A Gun")

Lucy Guard

Head Of Development (Dragon Pictures)

Martin Gutteridge

Special Effects Supervisor

Tim Harries

Bass ("We'Ll Gather Lilacs")

Caroline Harris

Costume Designer

Paul Hart-wilden

Assistant Director

John Hayward

Re-Recording Mixer

Alistair Hopkins

Post-Production Supervisor

Nick Ingman

Orchestra Conductor

Garth Innes

Special Effects Coordinator

Damian Jones

Producer

Anita Kelsey

Song Performer ("What'S Love Got To Do With It")

Andy Kennedy

Supervising Sound Editor

Bernie Lafontaine

Music Director

Jem Lovett

Special Effects Technician

Cerys Matthew

Song Performer ("We'Ll Gather Lilacs" "Bugeilio'R Gwenith Gwyn")

Catrin Meredydd

Stand-By Art Director

Haydn Morgan

Other

Clinton Neddick

Song Performer ("Forever & Ever")

Colin Nicolson

Sound Mixer

Alice Normington

Production Designer

Caroline O'reilly

Script Supervisor

Sally Osoba

Casting

Steve Parr

Other

John Parricelli

Guitars ("We'Ll Gather Lilacs")

Jonathan Pryce

Song Performer ("Love'S Old Sweet Song" "Boum" "Living Doll" (To The Words 'Sermon On The Mount') "I'Ll Take You Home Again Kathleen")

Giacomo Puccini

Songs ("Nessun Dorma" "Happy Birthday" "I Heard You Calling Me" "Come Back To Sorrento" "Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside" "Bohemian Rhapsody" "Dance Club" "We'Ll Keep A Welcome" "O Mio Babbino Caro")

Alistair Rae

Camera Operator

Alistair Rae

Steadicam Operator

Stuart Renfrew

Assistant Director

Matthew Rhys

Song Performer ("You Can'T Get A Man With A Gun")

Robin Sales

Editor

Astrid Schikorra

Hair & Make-Up Artist

Robert Schofield

Special Effects Wireman

Marco Scotti

Wardrobe Supervisor

Renato Simoni

Song ("Nessun Dorma")

Alistair Sirkett

Foley Editor

Amanda Stevens

Location Manager

Lesley Stewart

Co-Producer

Sara Sugarman

Screenwriter

Ian Thomas

Drums ("We'Ll Gather Lilacs")

Bruno Tonioli

Ymca Choreographer

George Walker

Assistant Director

Stephen Warbeck

Original Music

Stephen Warbeck

Music

Albert Whelan

Song Performer ("Whistling Bowery Boy")

Paul Hart Wilden

Assistant Director (2nd Unit)

Film Details

Also Known As
Annie-Mary ` la folie!, Annie-Mary a la folie!, Very Annie-Mary
MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
2001
Production Company
Arts Council of England; Cinesite Europe, Ltd.; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Frameline Ltd; Framestore Cfc; Le Studio Canal Plus; Le Studio Canal Plus; Mcdonald & Rutter; Peerless Camera Company; StudioCanal; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
Empire Pictures; Eone; Film4 Productions; Filmfour; Frenetic Films; Mars Distribution
Location
Wales, United Kingdom; Pontycymer, Wales, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Articles

Very Annie Mary


By most accounts, the best reason to catch this lively, comic quasi-musical set in Wales is its star, Rachel Griffiths, the chameleonic Australian actress who has become known for a range of roles as generally offbeat types ever since her feature debut in Muriel’s Wedding (1994). Here she’s the title character in Welsh-born actor-writer-director Sara Sugarman’s quirky love letter to her native country and its national penchant for song.

Annie Mary is a 33-year-old stuck with caring for her ill-tempered, puritanical and disagreeably loony father (Jonathan Pryce), a baker who delivers his goods in a van blasting Pavarotti from loudspeakers mounted on its roof. Her tragedy is that the traumatizing death of her mother, when the girl was still in her teens, scuttled her chance to study voice in Milan after winning a scholarship in the famed Eisteddfod music festival, judged by Pavarotti himself. But for all the disappointment and mistreatment she receives, she is no dreary heroine but a clumsy, impetuous “spitfire with a bad case of arrested development,” in the words of a 2001 Film Comment article by Nicole Armour. Annie has subordinated her musical gifts to her father’s determination to sing loudly and not too pleasingly in public at every opportunity. But when he is struck mute by a stroke, she at last begins to come into her own again.

If it all sounds very earnest and familiar, take heart that it’s balanced with barbed humor, kooky antics and idiosyncratic characters ranging from a gay couple named Hob and Nob to a terminally ill teen whose last wish is to go to Disneyland, a goal Annie tries to finance by coaching a pop group in a singing competition.

Although Griffiths is not a child of Wales, her winning way with the character and her ability to take on a remarkable range of accents are a good fit for the role, and Sugarman surrounds her with a large cast of Welsh actors, starting with Pryce, who got to flaunt his vocal chops earlier in Evita (1996). Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, 2005) and Matthew Rhys (TVs The Americans, 2013-2018) had early-career roles as the gay duo, and the cast also features Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey and Little Britain for British television) and Llyr Ifans (Under Milk Wood, 2015) in small roles.

Very Annie Mary was shot in 1999 in the Garw Valley in Bridgend, Wales, posing as the fictional village of Ogw. The cinematography, lovingly capturing the countryside’s green hills, is by Barry Ackroyd, a BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee for The Hurt Locker (2008).

Reviews were mixed, with several critics noting the film’s inconsistency of tone and tendency to be little more than a series of comic vignettes. Nevertheless, it won a Sundance Film Festival NHK International Cinema Award in 1999. That accolade did little to help the picture find a distributor, and it wasn’t released in the UK until 2001 and in the US the following year, albeit in limited run. In 2002, Griffiths and the screenplay won awards at the US Comedy Arts Festival.

The wildly eclectic soundtrack is a standout element of the film, ranging from Puccini arias to Welsh folk tunes to pop hits like “YMCA,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Director: Sara Sugarman
Producers: Graham Broadbent, Damian Jones
Screenplay: Sara Sugarman
Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd
Editing: Robin Sales
Art Direction: Tim Ellis
Original Music: Stephen Warbeck
Cast: Rachel Griffiths (Annie Mary Pugh), Jonathan Pryce (Jack Pugh), Ioan Gruffud (Hob), Matthew Rhys (Nob), Kenneth Griffith (Minister)

by Rob Nixon

Very Annie Mary

Very Annie Mary

By most accounts, the best reason to catch this lively, comic quasi-musical set in Wales is its star, Rachel Griffiths, the chameleonic Australian actress who has become known for a range of roles as generally offbeat types ever since her feature debut in Muriel’s Wedding (1994). Here she’s the title character in Welsh-born actor-writer-director Sara Sugarman’s quirky love letter to her native country and its national penchant for song.Annie Mary is a 33-year-old stuck with caring for her ill-tempered, puritanical and disagreeably loony father (Jonathan Pryce), a baker who delivers his goods in a van blasting Pavarotti from loudspeakers mounted on its roof. Her tragedy is that the traumatizing death of her mother, when the girl was still in her teens, scuttled her chance to study voice in Milan after winning a scholarship in the famed Eisteddfod music festival, judged by Pavarotti himself. But for all the disappointment and mistreatment she receives, she is no dreary heroine but a clumsy, impetuous “spitfire with a bad case of arrested development,” in the words of a 2001 Film Comment article by Nicole Armour. Annie has subordinated her musical gifts to her father’s determination to sing loudly and not too pleasingly in public at every opportunity. But when he is struck mute by a stroke, she at last begins to come into her own again.If it all sounds very earnest and familiar, take heart that it’s balanced with barbed humor, kooky antics and idiosyncratic characters ranging from a gay couple named Hob and Nob to a terminally ill teen whose last wish is to go to Disneyland, a goal Annie tries to finance by coaching a pop group in a singing competition.Although Griffiths is not a child of Wales, her winning way with the character and her ability to take on a remarkable range of accents are a good fit for the role, and Sugarman surrounds her with a large cast of Welsh actors, starting with Pryce, who got to flaunt his vocal chops earlier in Evita (1996). Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, 2005) and Matthew Rhys (TVs The Americans, 2013-2018) had early-career roles as the gay duo, and the cast also features Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey and Little Britain for British television) and Llyr Ifans (Under Milk Wood, 2015) in small roles.Very Annie Mary was shot in 1999 in the Garw Valley in Bridgend, Wales, posing as the fictional village of Ogw. The cinematography, lovingly capturing the countryside’s green hills, is by Barry Ackroyd, a BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee for The Hurt Locker (2008).Reviews were mixed, with several critics noting the film’s inconsistency of tone and tendency to be little more than a series of comic vignettes. Nevertheless, it won a Sundance Film Festival NHK International Cinema Award in 1999. That accolade did little to help the picture find a distributor, and it wasn’t released in the UK until 2001 and in the US the following year, albeit in limited run. In 2002, Griffiths and the screenplay won awards at the US Comedy Arts Festival.The wildly eclectic soundtrack is a standout element of the film, ranging from Puccini arias to Welsh folk tunes to pop hits like “YMCA,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”Director: Sara Sugarman Producers: Graham Broadbent, Damian Jones Screenplay: Sara Sugarman Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd Editing: Robin Sales Art Direction: Tim Ellis Original Music: Stephen Warbeck Cast: Rachel Griffiths (Annie Mary Pugh), Jonathan Pryce (Jack Pugh), Ioan Gruffud (Hob), Matthew Rhys (Nob), Kenneth Griffith (Minister)by Rob Nixon

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 22, 2002

Released in United States March 29, 2002

Released in United States on Video March 9, 2004

Released in United States February 2001

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (market) February 7-18, 2001.

Began shooting June 28, 1999.

Completed shooting August 21, 1999.

Released in United States Spring March 22, 2002

Released in United States March 29, 2002 (New York City and Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video March 9, 2004

Released in United States February 2001 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (market) February 7-18, 2001.)