I saw a few trailers for this somewhere last year. I think it was online or in with a DVD. It wasn’t something that I saw being heavily promoted, which is a shame.
Made in Dagenham, which is also titled We Want Sex (a sort of inside joke) depending on your region, is about some machinist/female factory workers for Ford in England during the late sixties going on strike about pay. Sparks a lot about women equality. The movie is not entirely historically accurate, but that should be nothing new. Most films fudge details for various reason. In theory it’s done to tell a better story. As far as I’m considered, a movie can fudge details as long as they do make a good movie. If something “based on true events” captivates me, I’ll actually look into what really happened, which is what the movie should be doing, unless of course it’s a documentary.
Anyways, I loved Made in Dagenham. Nigel Cole directed and if you’ve seen any of his other films (Saving Grace, Calendar, Girls, A Lot Like Love, Five Dollars A Day) you’ll probably like this as well. If you haven’t seen any of those other films, I suggest you get on that. Start with Saving Grace because it is great. It also stars/written by Craig Ferguson (@craigyferg). His films are similar enoughish. If you liked one I feel like you’d like the others.
Once again, back to the movie at hand. Made in Dagenham isn’t really reinventing the wheel. There are a number of movies that take historical events and turn them into popcorn flicks that you can easily get through. They’re funny enough and moving in the right places. That is Made in Dagenham. It is not some straight-laced, slow moving historical film that is usually the alternative. The film is pretty light hearted most of the time. It helps take the edge off of things as well as keeping you entertained during some slower bits. There are plenty of serious discussions with rousing speeches to get your panties in a bunch. It’s nothing that you haven’t seen before, but they do a good job with it. They didn’t squander the formula.
What really helped the movie shine to me was the cast. The cast is fantastic! Sally Hawkins is great as Rita and she only gets better as the film progresses. Geraldine James is right beside her turning in another great performance as well. Daniel Mays plays Rita’s husband and the two played off each other nicely. And it’s hard not to like Bob Hoskins (he’ll always be Smee to me!). He does a great job here as well even when he only appears for a minute at a time. Of course Miranda Richardson really shined. She only makes brief appearances till the end, but she is great. She deserved the BAFTA nom that she got. And for those unaware of who she is, she played Queenie in Blackadder and her performance her is not the same. Personally I kept waiting for her to break into that character, but fortunately she doesn’t. The closet she may actually get is during one little rant, but not really even then. Rosamund Pike has a nice brief appearance, but her character is kind of pointless. I’m not sure why she is even there really. At one point I thought she was going to get more a role, but that never happened. Shame since her character would’ve have been interesting if she were more involved. There was potential. Similarly Andrew Lincoln has a cameo at the beginning, which again is pointless. That’s all apart of some early school sub-plot that is just there. Not sure why. Rupert Graves and Richard Schiff have nice small roles as well and really the rest of the rather large cast is just great. It’s one of those movies that you look at and go, yes they should get a nomination, but really the movie could have been nominated for some best ensemble award.
It’s not a perfect movie, but it is what it is. It’s a great emotional comedy that’s easy to sit through and has a hell of a cast. Even knowing the result of the film I’d be fine re-watching it.