Were it not for Laura’s (Maggie Baird) inability to fit her faithful guitar in a Goodwill box, the 46-year-old housewife and mother of three might never have reignited her passion for music. With her youngest, most outwardly troubled son, Shane (Finneas O'Connell), in tow, Laura begins making the rounds of local open-mic nights, where the singer with the “little voice” manages to attract an audience. Here’s a film where dialog and performance are woven together with such candor and insight that moments pass where it felt like eavesdropping through an open window. First time director Jill D'Agnenica and her outstanding, albeit unheard-of cast skillfully skirt the pitfalls inherent in the Lifetime Channel material. With so many films out there about parents and children bonding through sports, I’m thrilled to recommend one in which art is the great unifier. Without your help, this low key, independently financed labor of love won’t find the audience it so richly deserves. (2013) — Scott Marks
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