Very Annie Mary (2000) - Synopsis

Very Annie Mary - heading

As a teenager, Annie-Mary won the most prestigious singing competition in Wales but her mother was ill and the girl wasn't allowed to take her scholarship to study in Milan. In fact, she never left Ogw at all. Now, fifteen years later, awkward and unloved, she is still living at home with her widowed father. No one remembers Annie-Mary's beautiful voice but all the local ladies sing the praises of her womanising, silver tongued father, the village baker and locally renowned tenor known as "The Voice of the Valleys".

Although her father treats her like a child, Annie-Mary's rebellion has never progressed beyond smoking in secret and an occasional flutter on the horses. In her wilder moments, she daydreams about Colin, the only attractive man under 60 in the valley. Colin won't give her the time of day and even refuses her offer to pay him (on an instalment plan) to sleep with her. Undeterred, Annie-Mary shares her fantasies with her best and only friend, 16 year-old Bethan Bevan, who is confined by illness to her bed.

When her father has a stroke, Annie-Mary imagines for one glorious moment that her life will begin at last. She'll sell the bakery and put a deposit on her dream house. Release is, unfortunately, short-lived: her father survives and returns home in a wheelchair, more cantankerous and demanding than ever.

All of her savings have gone to pay the bills, and Annie Mary's dream house seems like a far distant dream, so she sets to work at the bakery, making increasingly disastrous, but comical, attempts to turn out the perfect loaves her father is famous for. All the while Father watches as Annie Mary messes up deliveries and pulls misshapen and burnt loaves from the stoves. Her bread is only fit for the village children to wear as bicycle helmets. While her domestic frustrations mount, the village begins to buzz with a new project: the Mayor of Ogw has decided to raise money to send Bethan Bevan to Disneyland.

Annie-Mary joins a motley all-girl pop group: Hinge, Minge and Bracket (she joins as 'Fringe') and they travel to a talent contest in Cardiff in hope of winning the prize money for Bethan's fund. The event gets off to a terrible start when the women from Ogw arrive to find a bigger and better gang of Village People rehearsing. Forced to abandon their plans to sing YMCA the women transform themselves into "The Three Tenors". The women miraculously win the £1000. Flushed with victory and free for once from her father's tyranny, Annie-Mary has the time of her life and manages to lose all of Bethan's prize money on the horses.

Returning on the coach to Ogw, hung-over and grey with remorse, Annie-Mary is shunned by the villagers. Even her faithful friends, Hob and Nob, the handsome gay couple who run the local café, never want to speak to her again. She returns home to discover that her father's mistress has transformed the bakery and taken over her place in his life. Worst of all, she must face Bethan whose chance for happiness she has spoiled.

But Bethan Bevan doesn't give a fig for the money - nobody asked her if she wanted to go to Disneyland and she doesn't. All Bethan ever wanted was to hear Annie-Mary sing. It's the most difficult thing anyone has ever asked her to do, but when Annie-Mary serenades her friend, from the roof of the bakery van, the sad and beautiful sound of freedom rings throughout the valley.

At last Annie Mary finds her voice again and with it, the key to happiness, her dream home and an unexpected love.