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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and other VOD platforms for Memorial Day weekend from director Peter Cattaneo and Bleecker Street comes the story of friendship and song with the MILITARY WIVES.

It is not easy as British military wives watch their husbands from Flitcroft base pack up for their assignment to Afghanistan in 2009. Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lisa (Sharon Horgan) make it a point to find something constructive for the wives to do in their Social Committee. After many suggestions, a choir seemed to be the ideal choice since knitting doesn’t go over very well.

Kate is a strong presence and very opinionated about how things should go, and Lisa tries to find a way around it. Having some musical ability, Lisa attempts to guide the women into singing songs that they can have fun with as Kate is more serious in her choices.

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Both women have their own family issues as Lisa tries to maintain a strained relationship with daughter Frankie (India Amarteifio) and Kate continues to hide the mourning of her son from everyone.

But the women learn to work together and have a few missteps until they learn that they have been invited to sing at The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. Tensions rise and so do tempers as the performance day nears and the women must come together, or it will all fall apart.

Thomas as Kate is a woman trying to keep up an emotional front and not let anyone see her pain. Seeing her husband off almost seems a relief so that she can be alone. Thomas puts up a hard front until it begins to crack brought on by the choir and her constant head butting with Lisa.

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Horgan as Lisa is a woman who is also keeping up an emotional front of being unphased by her husband’s recent deployment. Her detachment affects the relationship with daughter Frankie and instead of dealing with that, she throws herself music first into the choir.

Thomas and Horgan carry the film and give the viewer a glimpse inside the lives of this group of women as they sing their way into a better place in their lives. The women of the choir cast gave me many reasons to smile and a few moments of laughter. Seeing their two leaders have a go at one another doesn’t sway them from their purpose of song.

Other cast include: Robert Whitelock as Malc, Stephen Thompson as Stuart, Robbie Gee as Red, Roxy Faridany as Dawn, Greg Wise as Richard, Laura Checkley as Maz, Laura Elphinstone as Helen, Amy Kelly as Sarah, Emma Lowndes as Annie, Lara Rossi as Ruby and Gaby French as Jess.

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Bleeker Street is a New York City film company that has brought outstanding films to the public. Their library includes TRUMBO, DENIAL, THE LOST CITY OF Z, BEIRUT, HOTEL MUMBAI, ORDINARY LOVE and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN. For more information on the titles from Bleeker Street please visit www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com.

MILITARY WIVES is the story of more than just one group of women as the Military Wives Choirs have over 75 groups on military bases across the UK. They have performed in such places as the Royal Albert Hall and for Queen Elizabeth. Their performances have brought about donations to the Royal British Legion and the SSAFA Forces charity.

What is truly enjoyable about the film is that for a moment in time, these women come together to find a way to deal with their struggles. Of course, it is about their husbands going so far from home and in a dangerous situation but, it is also about their feelings, at home raising kids, and finding something greater than themselves.

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There are intense emotions to be sure, but there is also a bit of fun and lots of music. The film has a cast that effortlessly portray people we all could know, are related to and love. That is important when reaching an audience who already live in a world full of uncertainty.

In the end – united they sing!