One can dream, Can't one?
Very Annie Mary is a touching film set in and around Pontycymer in the Garw Valley in South Wales where Annie Mary, an awkward 33 year old unmarried woman, lives with her religious widowed father. A quirky and naive woman, Annie Mary cooks and cleans for her father whilst he works as a baker.
Whilst still in production, Very Annie Mary was known as Pavarotti in Dad's Room. This is due to her father wearing a rubber Luciano Pavarotti mask and driving around in his delivery van singing arias which are broadcast through speakers to the passers-by.
Plot (contains spoilers)
When Annie Mary was sixteen she entered a singing competition at the National Eisteddfod and won a prestigious operatic singing scholarship in Milan. Unfortunately at the time her mother was dying and her strict father, Jack Pugh, refused her permission to take up the offer.
When her mother died, Annie Mary stopped singing and her father took the place of the performer in the family, singing opera style songs at Chapel every Sunday. A budding Pavarotti, he is known as The Voice of the Valleys and is a well known figure in the tiny Welsh village of Ogw where the two of them live.
Annie Mary is oppressed by her monstrous father who berates her at every opportunity and uses her as a human hot water bottle when his feet get cold in bed. She starts to dream about buying her own home when one of the villagers dies as their house is put on the market for £12,000. This inspires her to rebel and start saving all her money up for the very small deposit.
Whilst saving, her father has a stroke and goes into hospital. In this time Annie Mary dreams about the freedom she will have if he dies and plans her future. He recovers partially however and demands more of her time as she now has to look after him and run the bakery.
Whilst she is struggling to look after her wheelchair bound father and the business, her 16 year old best friend, Bethan Bevan who is terminally ill with cancer becomes the object of a fundraising competition to raise enough money to send her to Disneyland even though she doesn't want to go.
After winning a fundraising charity talent show, Annie Mary places the winnings which were supposed to go to Bethan Bevan on a horse race and loses all of it and makes herself the most unpopular person in the village.
When she is called to see her best friend who is due to go into a hospice to die, Annie Mary sells her half of the bakery to Mrs. Ifans who has been having an affair with her father for some time. Annie Mary gives this money to Bethan who says that she just wants to hear Annie Mary sing before she dies as she has heard how good she used to be when she won the Eisteddfod.
Struck by how serious the health situation of her friend is, she steals her fathers van and sings beautifully outside the window of the fish and chip shop which her friend's parents own.
Only when Annie Mary finds her voice does she find her freedom and is able to move on.
Bethan unfortuately didn't recover from her illness and at her funeral Annie Mary sings a solo aria.