Made in Dagenham
Starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson
Directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls)
Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Appropriate for ages 17+
Based on a true story, Made in Dagenham follows a group of women led by a spirited worker (Hawkins) that fight for equal pay during the 1968 strike at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Egland. When the top brass at Ford claim that equal pay would sink the corporation, the infamous Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity Barbary Castle (Richardson) steps in to assist.
While this is not at all a bad film, it doesn’t exactly stand as a strong example of entertainment. The acting is good, as you would expect from a cast that includes Hawkins, Hoskins, Richardson and a host of other talented players. The pacing is a little slow, but that doesn’t work against the film. Even the production values for the period piece are well put together. I’ll admit that the men in the film are largely treated like dolts, but I don’t doubt that many of them were at that time.
Perhaps it’s the fact that the equality for women film has been done before, and much better than this. Perhaps it’s because the film doesn’t seem relevant. Whatever the case might be, it’s not the kind of feel-good movie that makes you want to run out and see it on opening day.
But then again, I think its a film that you’ll be glad you saw. While nothing in it will blow you away, it makes for a nice history lesson, even if it is glamorized a bit. There is no doubt that the events of the film are important for many reasons, not the least of which is that it led the way for equal rights movements in many developed countries throughout the world. So for that reason, I am glad I saw it for the mere reason that it led to me reading more about and gaining knowledge of an important historical event that I didn’t know anything about before. B-