What do the wives of the many soldiers who are drawn to the front every day actually do? Peter Cattaneos MRS. TAYLOR’S SINGING CLUB gives the tragicomic answer to this – they sing! We’ll reveal how the film turned out in our review.
OT: Military Wives (UK 2019)
Kate Taylor (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a seemingly perfect British officer’s wife. In public, she covers up the uncertainty she feels during her husband’s deployment abroad with a beaming smile. A leisure group is supposed to change her mind and the other wives on the military base, but drinking tea and knitting are not at all to Kate’s taste. Why not start a choir instead? The rebellious Lisa (Sharon Horgan), who has previously set the tone in the group, can’t do much with Kate’s style and amateurish attempts at singing. Over time, Lisa also becomes infected by the women’s joy of life – and so the unlikely female duo gets together and leads the choir together. And the colorful group will soon have their first opportunity to demonstrate their skills…
In the original, Peter Cattaneo’s musical tragicomedy “Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club” has the simplified title “Military Wives”. The “All or Not at All” director is poking a hornet’s nest with this, because even though the focus of the film is actually on the wives of soldiers fighting on the front, the main character Kate Taylor is visibly struggling, not just perceived as “the wife”. but as an independent personality who simply has a husband who serves in the war. “Mrs. “Taylor’s Singing Club” tells the story of how she swims out of the public eye as a pretty soldier’s appendage in order to make a name for herself – the original title “Military Wives” is the most unfortunate choice, as the women are by no means focused on their status as Want to have a soldier’s wife reduced. The film itself is not entirely without fateful events at the front; The sword of Damocles called “operation” circles above everything – none of the women know whether their husband will return safely from the war. One of the women once put it aptly: “Every time I call, my heart sinks!”. It’s a fine line between maintaining the constant uncertainty and still allowing the protagonists to have their own feel-good story.
The choir makes final preparations.
“Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club” begins with scenes in which various soldier husbands (and a wife!) say goodbye to their wives and children before heading off to the next mission. The farewell ceremonies are both routine and loving; Above all, this emotional act imbues the film with a healthy dose of pathos right from the start. “Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club” is characterized by an irrepressible longing of women to be with their husbands (or wives) – and it is only Kristin Scott Thomas (“The Darkest Hour”) It is thanks to the fact that the film moves away from this victim attitude over time. The two authors Rachel Tunnard (“Emotional Fusebox”) and Rosanne Flynn (“The Labyrinth”) With Kate, they pick out a character whose tough, calm attitude is in stark contrast to the otherwise rather reserved young women, some of whom have not yet experienced many of their husbands’ foreign missions, are insecure or simply worried about their husbands to be able to hug him again unharmed. You have to get along with Scott Thomas’ character first; Especially in the initial phase, the actress embodies her character in a way that is aloof and could easily be confused with arrogant or arrogant. But over time she can inspire the other women exactly as necessary for her project – at least the feel-good part takes a relaxed course from here on out.
“‘Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club is characterized by women’s irrepressible longing for their husbands (or wives) – and it is solely thanks to Kristin Scott Thomas that the film moves away from this victim attitude over time.
“Mrs. At this point, “Taylor’s Singing Club” is more reminiscent of a sports film than a music film. The way in which several (initially unmusical) people get together and practice longer and more extensively in order to deliver a great result at the end – ergo: a strong singing performance – seems like a well-formulated training montage. This can be boring; all the more so because the makers really leave out every possibility of surprise, no matter how small, on their way from the inharmonious singing troupe to the harmonious choir. The fact that one of the women is confronted with the news of her husband’s death in the course of the film is also entirely predictable, but at least it throws the story, which lacks twist and tension, out of rhythm for a moment. But where there are few ups and downs, you can’t do too much wrong in terms of staging. “Mrs. “Taylor’s Singing Club” is a feel-good film through and through – and as such it may lack some rough edges here and there. However, the story doesn’t have a lot of substantial added value, but that’s also because you don’t really know how nice Peter Cattaneo actually is really means with its main characters.
Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lisa (Sharon Horgan).
In the press release for “Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club,” the filmmaker stated that he wanted to give a voice to women who would otherwise not be heard. An honorable intention, because we can actually hardly think of any films about how women actually fare while their men are away at war. Seen this way, it’s true: In “Mrs. “Taylor’s Singing Club” is the first time that those who are allowed to watch a film completely alone – at least almost! – which are otherwise only allowed to be part of war films with male main characters. What is irritating in this case is how carefully the script avoids any form of rebellion. Kate, Lisa and all the other women from the Military Wives choir sing politically neutral 80s pop evergreens, but never comment on how they actually feel about war in general (simply because they’re not allowed to), even though they do They have the opportunity to do so several times in the film and always do exactly that, which means they don’t attract negative attention – or even attract attention at all. And in doing so, Peter Cattaneo takes his original intention to absurdity by giving women a voice, but determining how much and, above all, what they are allowed to say. In particular, the finale, which actually moves you to tears, in which the women write a song together from scraps of letters to their husbands, would have deserved a much better film overall.
“It’s irritating how carefully the script avoids any form of rebellion.”
Conclusion: “Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club” is a completely harmless musical tragicomedy based on a sports film drama, which, however, does not fully fulfill its promise of giving unheard women a voice.
“Mrs. Taylor’s Singing Club” can be seen in USA cinemas from October 15th.