REVIEW: MADE IN DAGENHAM
PUBLISHED: 13:06 29 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 14 October 2010
THE 1960s were a time of great change – America mourned the assassination of John F Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and man took his first steps on the moon. For the 187 women machinists employed at Ford's Dagenham assembly plant in 19
THE 1960s were a time of great change - America mourned the assassination of John F Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and man took his first steps on the moon.
For the 187 women machinists employed at Ford's Dagenham assembly plant in 1968, it was a decade when a single act of rebellion changed history.
Disgusted by their lowly standing in the eyes of management compared to the male workers, the women went on strike to protest against unequal pay and sexual discrimination.
The subsequent power struggle with the board of the plant established a precedent for women around the world, proving that a few strong-willed individuals can slay a corporate giant.
The creative team behind Calendar Girls draws inspiration from this true story to craft another hilarious and heartwarming tale of female empowerment in MADE IN DAGENHAM (15).
Blessed with a powerful lead performance from Sally Hawkins that should be a prime contender for end of year awards consideration, Made in Dagenham dismisses the notion that Essex girls serve only one purpose as the butt of cheap jokes.
As the men in Nigel Cole's film learn to their cost, it is these strong-willed heroines who end up smiling.
Made In Dagenham evokes the period perfectly with a toe-tapping soundtrack and groovy fashions of the era.
Hawkins delivers a bravura, emotionally wrought performance as a woman who risks everything for what she believes in, telling Secretary of State for Employment Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson): "We ain't politicians. We're working women, and so are you!"
Richardson chews scenery with gusto in her few scenes, with strong support from Rosamund Pike, Daniel Mays and union rep Bob Hoskins as the allies and loved ones embroiled in the fight for fairness.
Cole's film is laden with earthy humour and has a massive emotional kick in the final reel that begs favourable comparisons with the Oscar-winning Norma Rae starring Sally Field. - DAMON SMITH
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.