Made In Dagenham (15)

Film image

The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner04/10/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 112 mins

Hugely enjoyable, feel-good social comedy that shines a much needed spotlight on an unsung true story, with a strong script, impeccable production design and terrific performances from a superb ensemble cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls) and based on a true story, Made In Dagenham is set in 1968 and stars Sally Hawkins as Rita O'Grady, a married mother of two who works as a machinist at Dagenham's Ford motor plant. After staging a successful one day strike when the plant attempts to classify her co-workers as 'unskilled labour', Rita persuades the entire female workforce to strike over equal pay, eventually marching on Westminster and attracting the attention of fiery Labour Minister Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson).

However, the pressures of the strike begin to take their toll on the women's lives, especially when the plant starts laying off male workers. Meanwhile, wily manager Robert Tooley (Richard Schiff) arrives from America with instructions to undermine the strike by any means necessary.

The Good
Sally Hawkins is a hugely likeable actress and she's perfectly cast as Rita, a shy, quiet woman who gradually discovers the strength and passion of her own voice, to the point where she might as well be wearing a t-shirt with the phrase 'The Mouse That Roared' written on it. There's also terrific support from a superb ensemble cast that includes Jaime Winstone (as Twiggy-obsessed Sandra), Andrea Riseborough (as party girl Brenda), Rosamund Pike (as the posh wife of a Ford manager who becomes an unexpected ally), Miranda Richardson (wonderful, as always) and Bob Hoskins as kindly union rep Albert.

The detailed production design is impeccable throughout, though the soundtrack choices are less than inspired by comparison. The film also makes strong use of colour and there are some striking and unusual images, such as the women all bicycling in to work or stripping down to their underwear to work in the sweltering heat of the shop floor.

The Great
Aside from shining a much needed light on a hitherto unsung true story, the script is packed with wonderful scenes and is often very funny. There are also several quietly moving moments, such as a wonderful exchange between Rita and her exasperated husband (Danny Mays) or the scene where Pike's character visits Rita at home.

Worth seeing?
Made in Dagenham is a hugely entertaining, brilliantly acted comedy that's genuinely uplifting, emotionally moving and laugh-out-loud funny. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Made In Dagenham (15)
Be the first to review Made In Dagenham...
image
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

image
02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

image
03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

image
04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

image
05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 21/10/2017 00:28

Latest Film Reviews

Film Blog

Urban Pundit

Keep up to date with everything in film and cinema at Urban Pundit, the exciting new blog.

Film of the Week

The Conjuring (15)

Hugely enjoyable, genuinely scary horror flick that provides a welcome throwback to classic 1970s chillers, thanks to impeccable production design, a superb script, powerfully atmospheric direction, intense set-pieces and terrific performances.

Latest Close Up

Noah Baumbach Interview

The Frances Ha director discusses co-writing the script with Greta Gerwig, shooting against the backdrop of New York and the real lives of the city’s people, Greta Gerwig’s performance, the music in the film and the picture's visual style.