Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones
Written by: Nick Moorcroft
Cast: Shirley Henderson, Letitia Wright, Ian Hart, Steven Mackintosh, Isabella Laughland
Urban Hymn is a British film about Jamie (Wright), a troubled teenager who is gifted with a beautiful singing voice. Jamie, along with her best friend Leanne (Laughland) live in a house with other troubled boys and girls. Leanne is very possessive of Jamie. She is jealous when Jamie is assigned a new social worker, Kate (Henderson), who encourages her to join her community choir. This puts Jamie in a dilemma – should she stick with her best friend or follow her heart and express herself through song?
Ever since Jamie’s mother passed away from a drug overdose, Leanne has taken care of her. Leanne is a bad influence on Jamie though, always getting into trouble and bringing Jamie down with her. When Leanne is serving time for one of her various crimes, Kate takes the opportunity to inject some positivity into Jamie’s life.
Kate brings Jamie to her community choir practice so she can engage in some song therapy. Jamie is an amazing singer and she catches the attention of everyone in her choir. This leads to other opportunities for her to clean up her life. But when Leanne is released from prison, she tries to lure Jamie back to her side, with tragic results.
Urban Hymn surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it but I did. I actually cared about the characters. It also reminded me of a VC Andrews novel. The production quality and acting were all very well done. Also bonus – there were three actors from Urban Hymn that appeared in various installments of the Harry Potter series.