Military Wives (2019) Review

A group of women on the home front form a choir when their military partners are away serving in Afghanistan. This offers a distraction from the news and togetherness as a group.


This film is inspired by the BBC documentary series “The Choir: Military Wives” which followed the progress of a choirmaster visiting various military bases around England to form choirs to bring together the wives and partners of serving military personnel. This saw the creation of a song and the performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 for The Royal British Legion’s Festival for Remembrance.

I like how the film took the story and made it into a different style to what happened with the documentary as I don’t imagine it would have contained as much drama that was needed to pull you into the film. As 75 wives performed at the actual event, having that in a film would have meant no real character development. Something that was rather impressive with Kate and Lisa who ended up in charge of the choir and certainly knew how to annoy the other.

Each of the characters we got to know had different backgrounds and also different experience with their partners in the army. The length of service would see them help each other out as only they can truly understand how being left for a tour feels. I found this rather fascinating in all honesty as without being in that situation you really cannot have any idea of how that feels. The fear of not knowing if you will actually see the other person again, its quite frankly heartbreaking.

Kristin Scott Thomas was as good as ever pretty much leading the film as Kate. I thought she was engaging throughout and that was something that I massively enjoyed about the film. Sharon Horgan as Lisa was a total scene stealer as well. She more than matched Scott Thomas and they shared some fantastic scenes. The argument scene before getting on the bus was brutal and just helped to highlight how cruel you can be to someone else when you are suffering yourself.

I would say that this film is in a very similar format to The Calendar Girls and that is not a bad comparison at all. More just highlighting that it works in that manner. I liked the way the songs were brought in during the practices and how they managed to improve as time went on. Not forgetting the mixture of all different genres of music, that certainly gives it something extra.

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