1968. It's a Man's world. But not for long.
Running Time: 113 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom
After Calendar Girls, A Lot Like Love and Orangutans With Julia Roberts, the latest film from the king of whimsical feel-good is Made in Dagenham. As you would expect from Nigel Cole this dramatisation of the 1968 strike at the Dagenham Ford car plant stars a slew of recognisable Brits, lots of happy go lucky characters and tear-jerkingly happy moments. So, probably best not to take your grumpy ex-miner Dad to the movies with you this time.
The strike in question was over the issue of equal pay for female workers who at the time were earning wages that were nowhere near that of men doing exactly the same jobs. That was until feisty redheaded Rita (Hawkins) joined forces with union representative Albert (Hoskins) to unite the female workers in a protest against The Man that went all the way to Harold Wilson (Sessions), the Prime Minister. Along the way, the ladies attracted derision at first but began to catch the attention of those right at the top and a fall out ensued with their colleagues, families and communities.
Made in Dagenham is moderately funny, puts a smile on your face and there are some likeable characters. There is also an interesting social context that is brought to life in the period stylings and the interspersed news footage, however this British comedy won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Watching it seems like you’re experiencing deja vu as it has a very similar style to most retro love-ins and it is very easy to see how it will pan out. The humour is half-cringe, half-amusing, depending which side of the cynical fence you are sitting on.
It's Got: Predictability, a good social context handled well, a likeable cast
It Needs: Less of the 'fun' humour, someone less hard to please to watch the film with like a parent who thinks that sing-a-long Mama Mia! showings are a good idea.
A history lesson in a format your Mum might like, Made in Dagenham isn’t to everyone’s taste but it is largely watchable.