Made in Dagenham (2010)

R   |    |  Biography, Comedy, Drama


Made in Dagenham (2010) Poster

A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.

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7.2/10
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  • Andrea Riseborough in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins at an event for Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Jaime Winstone in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins at an event for Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Nigel Cole and Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham (2010)
  • Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham (2010)

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26 September 2010 | carol-855-617449
10
| Superbly written and performed, a true tale for our tough times
Made in Dagenham has brilliantly broken the mould. It combines the clear, explicit and nuanced politics of the best of Ken Loach with the heart-grabbing attractions of any mainstream popular film you care to name. The brilliant scene where Sally Hawkin's modest and unpractised union rep spells out why the job she does is skilled is a metaphor for the whole movie. Politics isn't hard to understand – it's our lives, stupid! I cannot think of a previous British film with a mainstream aesthetic that has had the guts before to put the ordinary workers' point of view so wholeheartedly at its centre. But this is no simplistic idealised narrative. Going on strike, as the women find, makes you very unpopular, not least with the very people you'd thought would support you – the Union leadership and your fellow (male) workers. Nothing is a cinch, nothing too easily won and Sally Hawkins brilliantly portrays the thorny predicament of the figurehead of the struggle beginning to doubt her own single-mindedness and how much it's costing not just her family but the entire town (and possibly the UK's) working community. Made in Dagenham shows a true story in a truthful, thoroughly engaging way. There is not one bum note in any of the performances – from Kenneth Cranham's sleazily compromised Union official, to Rosamund Pike's surprisingly moving posh wife, to Jamie Winstone's wannabe model – everybody has a committed credibility without ever being worthy or cloying and Sally Hawkins (with a startling look of the young Rita Tushingham) plays a richly layered blinder in the central role. Huge hats off to the writer Billy Ivory who has written a bright, funny, completely unpatronising and clever script. And a big, big thank you to producers Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen for the guts to get right inside the truth of this big, big story that started in a little place.

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