Historical film pieces can tend to be boring or dry, especially if they are from a country that is not your own. But for some reason, director Nigel Cole makes it endearing and educational at the same time. Made in Dagenham is a British film based on the real life account of the 1968 machinists strike at the Ford Auto plant in Dagenham. The women all staged a walkout strike over sexual discrimination and the want of equal pay for themselves. This strike was actually pivotal in the British Equal Pay Act of 1970.
Starring the gruff yet maddingly loveable Bob Hoskins as Albert, the floor/Union supervisor, and Sally Hawkins as the brave (house mouse that realized she was a lion inside) Rita O’Grady. These two quietly take on the all male Unions and even some of the families to show that these women worked just as hard and with just as much skill as the men. Also starring the amazing Miranda Richardson and Rosamund Pike, as well as a great appearance by Daniels Mays as Eddie O’Grady, this film shows that an education is not always the thing you need to get a head in life. The story moves along at a very comfortable pace. One of the things I noticed was that until Rita walks into Buckingham Palace wearing a bright red dress, most of the women were seen wearing very dull and washed out colours for most of the movie. I feel like it worked for the piece rather well, helped bring the story visually as well as mentally.
Nigel Cole has a way with putting a powerful message out there, while seemingly hiding it under the soft petticoats of the feminine soul. He did the same with Calendar Girls a few years ago. He seems to enjoy being the champion of women everywhere and I applaud him for that.
Review (c) 2010 Stephe Raven | Radioraven2010@gmail.com