This film is part of Rentals

Urban Hymn 15 rating

In the wake of the London riots, teenager Jamie (Letitia Wright) finds herself at a crossroads; until music offers an unexpected path to salvation.

Drama 2016 114 mins

Director: Michael Caton-Jones


In the wake of the London riots of 2011, Jamie (Letitia Wright – My Brother the Devil) has landed herself in care and is now precariously treading down the path to delinquency. The main influence in her life is troubled partner-in-crime Leanne (Isabella Laughland) but rival guidance arrives in the form of idealistic caseworker Kate (Shirley Henderson) who, noticing Jamie’s stunning singing voice, places her faith in her young charge’s life chances.

Despite a familiar narrative around youthful redemption, Jamie’s musical journey takes some unexpected turns in Nick Moorcrofts’ penetrating script, not least for its focus on deeply unhip choir music rather than perhaps more predictable urban sounds. Veteran director Michael Caton-Jones (himself arguably aiming for redemption after the career low of Basic Instinct 2) provides dependable gloss and elicits some fine performances from a range of talents old and new, including a straight-faced cameo from Billy Bragg, playing himself as promoter of his real-life inmates’ guitar workshop (Jail Guitar Doors).