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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Twenty years on file followed by another twenty in the House of Commons has made Glenda Jackson one of the most respected and remarkable ladies of the past century. A career on stage before her film career began and a career on stage again after retiring from politics has made her a respected artist. Having seen her this past spring as "King Lear" on Broadway only cemented my admiration, and this film (one of her last) is a lot better than I suspected considering the subject, the fact that it could easily have been made for BBC, and how it reflects current events. It's nothing earth shattering, but I felt for the victim of sexual harassment here and got a glimpse into an issue that's often just a headline and often results in a quickly turned page.

    Jackson is the mild mannered manager of a women's clothing shop, the breadwinner in the working class family, as her husband (a very subtle John Thaw) has been unemployed for three years, seemingly too depressed (and in his words too old) to find work. She learns through one of her employees that corporate supervisor Eamond Boland not only made a pass but got far too physical, a very uncomfortable scene to watch, even for a male viewer. Jackson basically brings it up to him to get his side of the story which of course he lies about. The next day, Jackson I sacked, and she decides to take this to the union, ironically as news footage of union footage and parliament are used.

    Getting to see Jackson deal with both family issues and a social problem she wants to be dealt with shows the commanding way Jackson most likely dealt with issues she faced in public service. This also ago police brutality during the Thatcher era, and perhaps enticed Ms. Jackson to face her greatest challenge. Ironically, this shows the various abuses by people in power, and women are not made to be completely innocent, especially the officers who assault Cathy Tyson (playing Jackson's son's girlfriend) who is arrested in a protest.

    This could have been better of course, but I think the subtleties work, as well as the narrative that most men are not like Eamond and find that type of behavior reprehensible. The number of men at Jackson's public statement (as well as those who join her in protest) gives a fair view to both genders Workin together to create a completely fair working world where everybody is treated as a human being.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Here's a deeply obscure British drama that you may want to check out, especially if you're interested in films directed by women: Business As Usual was written and helmed by Lezli-An Barrett, and remains her only film to date. It stars Glenda Jackson as Babs, a woman who manages a chain store branch in Liverpool whilst recently laid-off factory worker hubby Kieran (John Thaw) keeps house. When a slimy supervisor starts pawing the help, Babs gets her back up and ends up losing her job, too. What to do, what to do? This being Thatcher-era Britain, it's definitely a job for the union, and a little working-class solidarity goes a long way when fighting workplace sexual harassment. Business As Usual won the Grand Prix at the Creteil International Women's Film Festival and co-stars Mona Lisa's Cathy Tyson. Think of it as distaff Ken Loach or a politicized Coronation Street and proceed accordingly.
  • This film sacrifices character development in the name of thinly veiled political statement. Craig Charles was frankly superb, and I'm disappointed that he hasn't worked in film again. Glenda Jackson gave an all round good performance, despite being hobbled by the script and direction.

    I enjoy watching this film as a reminder of the halcyon days of the mid-eighties, and to see just what the McGann brothers used to do, before their sit-com days.

    The story concerns the plight of a young shop assistant, and her problems with an over bearing boss. When our heroine, Glenda, steps in she is fired and embarks on a transformation from meek shopkeeper to socially right-on campaigner for rights in the work place. Frankly, I am tired of this sort of preachy nonsense.

    Barrett's direction was as good as could be expected, given that this is her debut feature. Girl power? Hmm. It's not enough to build a film around, I feel.
  • This debut feature from Leslie-An Barret is commendable for it's attempt to address pertinent social issues of the day. Glenda Jackson, herself politically motivated, does little more than sleepwalk through her role, and, with supporting players reduced to ciphers, propelling the narrative, she ends up floating along with no real purpose or drive.

    This movie typifies the sort of things being produced at the time, Cal, Paper Mask, Diamond Skulls, which, like the decade in which they were made, are triumphs of style over substance, albeit, low-budget, cardboard cut-out versions of style.