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Feeling Good in Dagenham

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Mark Kermode | 15:58 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010

In a Ford car factory in Dagenham a group of women led by Sally Hawkins from Happy-Go-Lucky, ex-Bond girl Rosamund Pike and Blackadder's "Queenie" Miranda Richardson, teamed up to win the right to equal pay for women in Stephen "Crying Game" Woolley and Nigel "Calendar Girls" Cole's joyful and uplifting retelling of that groundbreaking strike of 1968.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    At last - a film about women, for women, and not about handbags.

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

    I've just now got my results for my A-levels. I got a A in Modern Women's History. That said, it was very, very dull. If only this film had come out last year we might've had a reason for a trip out of dull old E9.

    That said, the film itself looks dull.

    I might go if they show it in 3D!

  • Comment number 4.

    It looks like it could be fun, the female 'Full Monty' (which I know you mentioned Mark). I can see it being chock full of clever jokes but I hope it has some gritty realism to it as well. The world and his wife do not talk in perfect witty one liners, which can be a problem with this type of 'home grown' comedy. It can appear smug if it's not handled well.
    Having said that it's been a long time since we had a good and interesting movie about women, so that's one positive before it's even released.

  • Comment number 5.

    It looks a fairly sickening film.

    As great a actress Sally Hawkins is, I despise her 'feel good' films of this such Happy-Go-Lucky, which was like Mike Leigh drinking a gallon of strawberry milkshake then being sick in your mouth and him shouting at you how sweet is the taste of his vomit.

    There seem to be a tradition of British films like this and I truly hate the emotional blackmailing films like that impose on you mainly for the formula they usually take..

    Take a real and flawed world eg a lack of money (eg deindustrialisation for Monty/Billy Elliott, or fundraising for Calendar Girls) add the belief that they can change their world somehow against the odds, and despite some challenges in the way - surprise they can achieve their goals! Along the way, add some flawed support characters who have their doubts at the start of the film then towards the end are won over. Also add some snappy dialogue and one liners, preferably from the cynical/flawed support character.

    I'd like to see the formula challenged, for example that they fail in their objectives royally, eg Full Monty - they decide not to strip, Billy Elliott- he breaks his leg, Calendar Girls - no one buys their calendars.

    I'd watch this film if I knew all the staff who asked for more pay were not sacked from the jobs, but then had their brains eaten by some Romero zombies while Zombi (the band) provide an awesome Synth heavy soundtrack.

  • Comment number 6.

    Here we go again, another go nowhere British film, this is why the UK film council was binned, we continue in this country to make films about statements, yeah this fine once in a while but where are the big British block busters, when are we going to treat this as a industry and not a art form for the indulgent few, mind u i did love the full monty so maybe i might be eating my own words

  • Comment number 7.

    Might give it a whirl - if only to gauge its level of misandry.

  • Comment number 8.

    @S Ford
    "the belief that they can change their world somehow against the odds, and despite some challenges in the way - surprise they can achieve their goals! Along the way, add some flawed support characters who have their doubts at the start of the film then towards the end are won over. Also add some snappy dialogue and one liners, preferably from the cynical/flawed support character."

    You just described 90% of movies ever made. Although it's usually a bloke single-handedly overcoming the odds with the application of a bit of judicious violence (or extreme violence, take your pick) and a clever quip.

    These British feel-good films based on real events sound promising but are often let down by being too glib or sentimental, kind of Ken Loach-lite. My advice to Mark would be to reread his old battered copy of Rosa Luxemburg's The Mass Strike and just skip the film.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think films and reality need to be kept separate; reality in films is a tool, not a purpose. Keep the sentimentality.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm all for supporting the British Film Industry (or what's left of it) and it is based on a true story....However shades of Norma Rae by the look of it......But let's give it a whirl right?

  • Comment number 11.

    A fair bit of cynicism above.

    Don't judge until you've seen it. Brassed Off was sold as a comedy; it had both comedic and romantic moments:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxU9qEltkYk
    but when you saw it, it also had desperation and some quite tragic scenes too; ditto Full Monty.

    Like SFord I despised Happy-Go-Lucky. Mike Leigh having a midlife crisis on film I think. So don't judge Sally Hawkins just on that experience.

    There's a whole British style and tradition of 'oop north' film-making that stretches back through Hobson's Choice, Billy Liar, Sporting Life, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Kes, The Raging Moon, Spring And Port Wine; all the way through to Trainspotting, Bend It Like Beckham and yes, the Billy Elliotts et al.

    I haven't seen Billy Elliott (Looked a bit too 'feel good' and 'women of a certain age' bait to me); but I have seen the others and they're pretty D*mn good.

    Calendar Girls; should have been an ITV 2-part drama; but don't judge the whole 'oeuvre' [can' think of an English word that fits] on this one film.

    Love it or hate it - it's a tradition, and it's ours. (Shameless - discuss.)

    'Films and reality need to be kept separate'.
    Now that could be a blog post and a few hundred comments in itself; most films manage that quite well; even those about serious issues.
    But can an a imaginative drama also strike to the heart of our universal human concerns? (Can music?)

    I also have known a few people that prefer to try and keep their lives and reality separate; isn't it hard when reality insists on bursting on in?

    Which films accurately reflect reality? Another entire blog discussion.
    And let's not even go into 'what is reality'?

    'I might go if they show it in 3D!' Really? You base your film watching habits just on that? (I assume your being playful.)
    There's so much more to film than that. But your young yet ...

  • Comment number 12.

    I feel a little bit like this is a conversation I don't belong in.

    So I'll just say that I like the cast a lot more than I like the trailer, which made it look okay but kind of forgettable. I like all of the films jayfurneaux listed and even love some of them (exception for Billy Elliot, which is just "okay"), but found Calendar Girls pretty throwaway. Then again, Miranda Richardson.

    Apparently we don't get it until November, but if it ever manages to make it out this way I'll make an effort to see it. It looks possibly like one of the few movies being released this year that I can maybe watch with my mother and we can both enjoy without me vomiting sugar rainbows on the cinema floor and her not regarding me as a sociopath for the rest of my life.

    I do disagree on the Happy-Go-Lucky comments, which isn't Mike Leigh's best effort but still a pretty darned good movie. Superficially it is a cream puff, but I think there's a lot more going on under that film than people give it credit for. Could have used more Eddie Marsan though.

  • Comment number 13.

    I like the premise of quirky Brit movies which uplift you, even if they're "based on a true story". Like Calendar Girls, Billy Elliott, The Full Monty, Bend it Like Beckham, Local Hero, Gregory's Girl, even Kinky Boots (one of my favourites).

    A bit of nostalgia never hurt us. I'd rathe leave a movie feeling good than feeling depressed anyday. I certainly will see Made in Dagenham when (and if) we get it here in Oz.

  • Comment number 14.

    Please can I come over to the South Bank and white balance your camera correctly?

    I saw the trailer for this a month back. My initial reaction was "oh no, it's another Full Monty". I'm glad it's good, but it's going to need a hell of a marketing push to make Joe Popcorn change their mind from seeing "Teenage Sex Wager 5" to a movie about women's lib in 60's Britain.

    Still, it's not all bad news. We all know how much money promoters love to spend on British fi...
    Never mind.

  • Comment number 15.

    You can't please all the people.....
    What is it that promotes the idea that folk like us have valid opinions? Is it maybe films like this?

  • Comment number 16.

    @jayfurneux
    Some of the films you mentioned were great though, but aside from the geographical similarity I believe there is little else to correlate your films. Almost akin to Chinatown and Transformers 2 being from the same stock as they are both made in the West Coast of America.
    Cynicism is a much more revered British tradition than the films mentioned, it's a virtue every Englishman/woman irrespective of race, age and creed has a right to and how wonderful a tradition is it!

    @orthodoxcaveman
    There is nothing wrong with such a cinematic convention, but critically it can get a little boring, especially if it is 90% of cinematic content. Often the British counterparts in this particular genre examined do get a little Ken Loach lite, and mentioning this director his film 'Looking for Eric' was very enjoyable, as even though it had intentions in realism it never denied it's fantastical elements, in particular it's ending which Slavoj Zizek may have been proud off.
    Genre film making if nothing remarkable is introduced can suffer in being to defined/refined by the conventions it sets itself by. Made in Dagenham quite simply looks like it has NOTHING to distinguish itself from it's predecessors.

    @amber
    Forgive me if I am wrong, but I think this particular sentence you wrote doesn't make any sense, the second part of the sentence contradicts the first part - 'Superficially it is a cream puff, but I think there's a lot more going on under that film than people give it credit for". If it is superficial, how can there be more stuff going on? Or is a cream puff not that superficial? How superficial is a cream puff? Is Pain Au Chocolat more or less superficial than a cream puff? Eddie Marsan though was as majestic a performer as he always is; quite simply one of the finest actors around.

  • Comment number 17.

    I was on another movie forum the other day that is primarily inhabited by Americans and we were discussing the up coming Scott Pilgrim vs The World. These Americans were discussing this trailing in minute detail, pulling it apart and getting excited with the "OMF! DID YOU SEE THAT! THIS LOOKS LIKE THE MOST AWESOME FILM EVER!" sort of anticipation that you can only get out of American fanboys. Compare that to the responses here and perhaps you have the difference American audiences and British ones.
    While Americans seem generally upbeat about an up coming films we just shrug at it and say, "looks alright, but it's just gonna be the Full Monty with birds, right?"

  • Comment number 18.

    Looks like a decent british film, and not a simon pegg or bill nighy in sight!

    well, there'd better not be Dr. Kermode or it'll be the first time i'll have ever walked out cinema and I'll be knocking on your door to be fully reimbursed! Tachos an'all!!

    might just check IMDb first...

  • Comment number 19.

    Fantastic!

    No pegg, Nighy, or - most importantly - Richard Curtis!

    Your money is safe!

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm sure it's great. But at the end of the day, I think we can all agree it's no Piranha 3D.

  • Comment number 21.

    @SFord re: 5.

    What about Brassed Off? Despite being billed as a "Full Monty-esque" comedy, it's a fairly pathetic film (I mean that in the other sense of the word pathetic by the way, not the pejorative sense) AND it ends on a quite a suprisingly bleak note.

    Definitely worth a watch if you want an antidote to feel-good cheeriness.

  • Comment number 22.

    @S Ford: I meant on the surface it appears to be a cream puff?

    It's a very sugary movie and not just so - it is annoyingly, psychotically cheerful. I think it is intended to be overbearing and grating. Poppy and Scott are two extremes that are equally as self-destructive, her being limited with her intense optimism through willful ignorance.

    I googled Pain Au Chocolat and it looks delicious.

  • Comment number 23.

    @Amber

    If I could I would send you a Gregg's Pain Au Chocolat. I'm a big spender. They're great. If you ever find a French deli where you are (which I presume is the States) then find one and eat the Pain Au Chocolat. Make Cookie Monster sounds when you eat it, but don't waste the Pain Au Chocolat like Cookie Monster. For the record, CM is one of my heroes. C is for Cookie and that's good enough for me.
    BTW Amber your posts are always a pleasure to read, so keep up the great work!

    @Joel Clooney
    I have seen Brassed Off, and can remember little else other than Tara Fitzgerald remarkable cheekbones and there being a Tuba. Always a instrument which has made me laugh. Not quite sure why.

  • Comment number 24.

    @S Ford

    Thanks for mentioning Slavoj Zizek as it gives me the opportunity to recommend The Pervert's Guide To Cinema, which everyone who contributes to this blog should see. Thought provoking, hilarious and slightly derranged, though not necessarily in that order, Zizek gives a Lacanian psychoanalysis of some of the great films of the 20th century. Also his description of Titanic in this article is priceless.

  • Comment number 25.

    @orthodoxcaveman
    You did take your user name from a track from Black One by SunnO)))?

    Zizek is the king. A very, very strange man but a king among men.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hoorah some praise for a film i have been looking forward to for a while and am now looking forward to even more thanks mark!

  • Comment number 27.

    @SFord re: 22.

    Clooney? Clooney?.

    *facepalm*

    (Do you know, this was never a problem before George and his ER-chums turned up!)

    Moving on...Brassed Off maybe revisit it then. If you can ignore the whole MacGregor/Fitzgerald sideshow it still packs a punch emotionally at the end.

    As for Zizek, he is well worth watching; anyone that can turn the political meaning of The Sound of Music completely on it's head deserves your attention, albeit not necessarily your agreement.

  • Comment number 28.

    "Aside from the geographical similarity I believe there is little else to correlate your films." SFord.

    Different directors and writers have different styles and emphasis, so yes those films are all different from each other; but similar I think in being rooted in focusing on recognisable, identifiable experiences encountered by many [not all of course] 'ordinary' people.
    One council estate girl once recommended Bend It Like Beckham to me because "it's about common people like us" (I'm a teacher BTW.)

    "Almost akin to Chinatown and Transformers 2 being from the same stock as they are both made in the West Coast of America."

    Thanks for noting my love of Chinatown; such an ending!

    I'd agree if I'd had included the Costner or Crowe Robin Hoods or the big country house period dramas (Austin etc) etc in my list; but most British films, like the ones I listed above are [at best] medium budget efforts; almost equivalent to the USA's indie sector.

    I could add to it: Get Carter, 24 Hour Party People, Room at the Top, everything by Shane Meadows, Little Voice, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Backbeat, Educating Rita, Gumshoe, Letter to Brezhnev and even The Wickerman (and on TV Boys from the Blackstuff).
    I'm sure there's more that I've missed out.

    I'll be a little vague here, but I do think there is a different feel, tone and mood to films made 'oop north' to the majority of those set in, say, London.

    The British film industry is struggling, as it always has; despite having really good talent. It's too easy to dismiss a film as 'being like such and such'. Given there are no really new human themes to mine that's unsurprising.

    We watch American genre films unthinkingly; we'll all see at least one this year, even if we know in advance it'll probably be similar in plot or theme to many we've seen before. So why all the cynicism reserved for British films?

    The British industry may be struggling, but their hit rate of films now regarded as 'classics' is good, and deserves some support.

    Made in Dagenham may or not be great.

    True: "Cynicism is a much more revered British tradition than the films mentioned, it's a virtue every Englishman/woman irrespective of race, age and creed has a right to and how wonderful a tradition is it!"

    The Beano and Carry On tradition of blowing raspberries at all 'received knowledge' and authority figures is indeed wonderful and not to be denigrated.

    But I still allow optimism to have a faint glow in my heart, despite the cynicism that goes with aging.

    I'll give MID a chance; you never know it might have enough going for it to make a visit to the cinema worthwhile - and not feel you've totally wasted your money (Yes Clash of the Titans I'm talking about you! Some friends wanted to go; I did warn them... Some films just make to feel you paid money to be insulted; and I don't get off on that).

    We're in an impossible position of attempting to give an opinion on a film that no-one apart from Dr K has seen.
    But based on his 'heads up' above I'll give MID some consideration.
    If I disagree with his opinion I'll express it here.

    PS: Dr K. As you now have it on DVD, in view of past blog posts, what are your current views on Herzog's Bad Lieutenant compared with Ferraras?

  • Comment number 29.

    Anyone else get a bit bored about half way through this video blog?

  • Comment number 30.


    @Joel_Cooney
    I got my letters a bit mixed up! Apologies for the unintended defamation of your name, a process not intended!
    As for Zizek, I struggle to understand his accent forget about his themes!

    @jayfurneux
    Recent British films I've loved include Black Death, Heartless, Hush and Soi Cowboy; to name a few. You named some great films, which some of which I have seen are undisputed classics. My statement is quite simple, I despise a lot of British Comedy, which doesn't fare the sub genre of 'feel good comedies' that well, which isn't to say I dislike British Cinema but I'm Lindsay Anderson fan and in no way in the slightest bit at all a Richard Curtis fan (his films that is…).
    When it comes to differences to South V North UK film making, there are differences but there are similarities as well. A pinnacle of European Cinema could be perceived to be 'The Angry Young Man Movement', which North or South focussed on the same ground. Taking much pleasure in the films of Audiard, I reckon the influences of TAYMM is evident.
    I can't disagree with the Beano; quite simply it rocks.
    As for Bad Lieutenant I've only seen the Herzog remake. I'm a bit of wimp for Sexual Violence, and I've heard the original requires a strong stomach at best. A film to watch at sometime, when feeling braver….

  • Comment number 31.

    Totally off-topic, I know, but be careful about staying away from radio for too long.
    Paterson, Boyd and Floyd are doing a truly excellent job in your absence.

  • Comment number 32.

    People here seem to be focusing on Made In Dagenham as a part of the "British" films genre. I see it more as that extremely rare beast, the film that deals explicitly with labour/class conflict with people overcoming obstacles through collective action rather than some Harry Callahan/James Bond/Batman quasi-deity saving the day. Although I maybe wrong, and it ends up being more a On The Buses type romp. Some the best films in this class conflict category are -

    1 Salt Of The Earth. Unbelievably made in the US in 1954 at the height of the anti-communist witch hunts. Amazing.

    2 Matewan. Based on the real life bloody war between mine workers and mine owners in the 1920s. John Sayles best film.

    3 Blue Collar. Paul Schrader's directorial debut which includes the great casting of Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto.


    @S Ford
    Sunn0)))? Yes. It was either that or Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért...which would be ridiculous.

  • Comment number 33.

    Thanks Mark,i'll give it a try. Personally, my go to film when i need uplifting, is Superman II. Kneel before Zod.

  • Comment number 34.

    How is Dr. K able to make blog posts about films I don't care about but unable to do his radio show when films like The Last Airbender are being released? I mean seriously, Kermode, get your priorities straight!

  • Comment number 35.

    'As for Bad Lieutenant I've only seen the Herzog remake. I'm a bit of wimp for Sexual Violence, and I've heard the original requires a strong stomach at best.' @SFord

    Don't watch the Ferrara version if your feeling 'down'. Keitel's performance drags you in; a man driven to self destruct, but attempting to find some kind of redemption through suffering and self-sacrifice.
    It's not a theme I particularly warm to, and why I also really disliked Breaking The Waves and have mixed feelings about the ending of The Wild Bunch; also why I prefer Herzog's take on Bad Lieutenant.

    Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant isn't 'that' graphic (IMO), but Keitel's performance is pretty powerful (as also was Cage's in Leaving Las Vegas and Steiger's in The Pawnbroker) and the subject matter is quite bleak. Watch these when you're feeling down and their effect could be to make you feel even more depressed.

    Feel-bad movies, OMG, now there's a topic:

    Ones that stand out in my memory, in no particular order:
    The Killing Fields, The Deer Hunter, The Machinist, Million Dollar Baby, The Mist, Grave Of The Fireflies, Come and See, Shindler's List, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, Threads, The Wickerman, Seven, Way of the Gun, Once Were Warriors, Aguirre the Wrath of God, Cobra Verde, Blood Diamond, Requiem For A Dream, Nil by Mouth, The Pianist, Dead Man's Shoes, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Brazil, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (both versions), Letters from a Dead Man, Lord of War, Funny Games, The Pledge, Insomnia, American History X, Audition, Christiane F, The Fly, Shivers, Dead Ringers, A History of Violence, Memento, Sophie's Choice, Kidulthood, The Thin Red Line, Last King of Scotland, Hotel Rwanda, Munich, Dancer In The Dark, Primal Fear, Sin Nombre, Internal Affairs, King Of Marvin Gardens, Atlantic City, The Last Run, Lawman, Ulzana's Raid, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hustle, Godfather 2, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Casualties of War, Burnt by the Sun, Double Indemnity, White Heat, Chato's Land, Saving Private Ryan, Battle for Algiers, Black Hawk Down, All Quiet on the Western Front, Bridge on the River Kwai, Full Metal Jacket, Gallipoli, King Rat, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Devils, Slumdog Millionaire, City of God, Scum, many of Bergman and Kurosawa's films, Fellini's La Strada, Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Pasolini's Salo, Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Fear Eats the Soul, Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - and of course Chinatown.

    None of them are exactly 'feel-good' movies - apart from possibly Slumdog Millionaire. I found the scene where Latika finally answers the phone and the two main characters are finally reunited towards the end quite moving, and it did have a happy ending despite the grimness of what precedes it. But that may just be me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-moVw-R1rw&feature=fvst

    The only one I wish I hadn't seen is Oldboy - I found its violence too disturbingly graphic and masochistic towards it's end. (And I've watched all the Saws and Hostels, to give you a yardstick.)

    I haven't yet seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Road, A Prophet, Heartless, Hush or Soi Cowboy but at some point hope to; they too appear to fall into the feel-bad category, but life would be much poorer without these kind of films.

    Lindsay Anderson! This Sporting Life is an absolute classic. I also really liked his O Lucky Man!, though it's been a few decades since seeing it.
    If... I thought was interesting, though I don't think it's aged well; too much a product of the counter-culture of it's time - and it shows.

    Made in Dagenham. I'm prepared to give it a chance. It probably won't be ground-breaking, but you have to be open to the possibility that it might have some merit; more than can be said for much of the current multiplex fodder.

    TAYMM? I'm sure it's meaning is obvious, but eludes me at the moment. Enlightenment please.

  • Comment number 36.

    @jayfurneux
    Some truly excellent films mentioned in the 'feel bad' list. The only one I will single out is 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane'; one of my favourite films of all time. Remember watching it as 7-8 year old and had my mind blown away. 20 odd years later I still have the same opinion about it! Also 'The Mist', probably the most underrated film of recent times. How did it get such a small cinematic release? A great crime to cinema.... Only 2 films singled out...

    Hush isn't a 'feel bad' film, but a slasher/exploitation film/ B-Movie- a film for pizzas and beer for a quiet Friday night in kid of thing...

    TAYMM - The Angry Young Man Movement; films such as Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, This Sporting Life, Look Back In Anger etc etc. It was a abbreviation I did as I was too lazy to write out Angry Young Man again!

    Heard many great things about Keitel's performance in the original Bad Lieutenant. Another Ferrara film I have heard a lot of good things about is 'The Funeral', heard it's another example of a Ferrara film with truly wonderful acting.

  • Comment number 37.

    SFord. Hush sounds interesting. DR K gave it a thumbs up a while back I seem to remember. I quite enjoy genre movies so it's on my list.

    TAYMM = The Angry Young Man Movement. I should have got that one.

    Some degree of social realism, perhaps that's what most of my 'oop north' films (#28) have in common?

  • Comment number 38.

    Loved Hush thought it was a cut above the normal horror/thriller genre, however with the greatest respect some posters seem to be going off the subject here, and as much as I love to hear what other people like and appreciate,it does descend into a bit of a yawnfest.....

  • Comment number 39.

    @S Ford @Jayfurneaux
    I have to agree with your comments on The Mist. It is so much more than a monster movie. The interaction between the characters, the depiction of the the mob mentality, it really is an excellent piece of work, and kudos to Darabont for making the bravest ending choice that I have seen in recent years. Thumbs Up from me!

  • Comment number 40.

    @jayfurneaux - thanks for the excuse to post off topic.

    I've got to say that the fact that Slumdog Millionaire, Brassed Off and The Full Monty are cited as feel good movies baffles me the way that it baffles me that the Oliver musical is considered suitable entertainment for kids. All of the above are definitely feel bad movies for me because they confront me with questions of social equality that I find difficult to reconcile and thus depress me.

    The 2 ultimate feel bad movies for me are Silent Running and Pixote.

  • Comment number 41.

    @MargeGunderson - It's amazing how often you see 'The Mist' referenced in film conversations now; it seems to have broken through very quickly into 'cult' status amongst those in the know. Richly deserved, IMO.

    Back on topic - Mark I came away from watching your blog post very much looking forward to seeing this film. It looks as though it could pass the Bechdel Test on the strength of the trailer alone.

    On a related/feminist note... part of the problem these days seems to be that films are written for demographics rather than people. If I never heard the phrase 'chick flick' again, it would be too soon. I find it to be one of the most irritating and degrading phrases in the English language. Same goes for 'chick lit'. You don't have 'feller films', or 'bloke books'. You have 'proper films', and then you have films which have been written, produced and directed (on the whole) by men to try and make money by pandering to what they think women are interested in. I am a woman. I am not interested in weddings, shoes, handbags or children, thanks very much. (That said, I think the original 'Sex and the City' series is wonderful but not because the women talk about shoes - pretty much every episode of that show is Bechdel-friendly and it covered topics I have never seen discussed elsewhere in film or TV.)

    My favourite 'feel-good' films (by which I mean films I turn to when I am feeling glum because they are guaranteed to put a smile back on my face) would be:

    'Aliens': What's not to love? Sets the bar for the action-movie group dynamic (very rarely equalled since). Kick ass female lead, sparks of romance (Ripley/Hicks), blood, guts, laughs and some of the most quotable dialogue in history. You can't not watch this and come away feeling good.

    '2 Days in Paris': I must have watched this film 10+ times, and I still laugh like a drain every time. Even better is when the credits roll and you realise Julie Delpy's name is on just about every screen. She is my absolute hero. I wish there were more Julie Delpys in the world.

    'Hellboy II': Words cannot express my love for this film. Every time I watch it, there's something new to love. Del Toro = amazeballs.

    'Legally Blonde': We're into serious glum-territory if I have to rake this one out, but it usually does the trick. Bimboid goes to Harvard, realises there's more to life than chasing guys. Win.

    'The Wedding Singer': The *other* good Adam Sandler film (aside from Punch Drunk Love). Cheesy, but always makes me grin.

    /ramblement :)

  • Comment number 42.

    I've got a feeling there's going to be a bit where the main character gives a speech and everyone listens and then the music will sore and then they'll be some shots of her friends looking at her their faces full of pride and then some shots of the film's antagonists looking ashamed.

    I hope not but i reckon there will be.

  • Comment number 43.

    @41

    "It's amazing how often you see 'The Mist' referenced in film conversations now; it seems to have broken through very quickly into 'cult' status amongst those in the know. Richly deserved, IMO."

    '..those in the know'like its some little indie movie lol. Anyone with SKY Movies has probably seen this.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hmmm... sorry to sound cynical, but a British film about the oppression of the working classes isn't exactly new is it? At least it's not based in the North for once.

    We do only seem to produce the 'working class' story or the Richard Curtis / Hugh Grant bumbling Englishman in an idyllic London setting.

    Maybe we need to start trying something a bit different for once?

  • Comment number 45.

    Unlike some of the comments on here I see nothing wrong with celebrating and highlighting some of our countrys greatest acheivements I don't see them as Arty films...and if they are then it sure beats films full to the brim with special effect explosions and no storyline let alone decent actors! If this is what Britain does best then so be it, we don't have the money the US have or the lack of principles when it comes to making a decent film.

    I think this film highlights a long forgotten milestone and may just make people realise how easy we have it today. I think it looks great for what it is, the make up and costumes take you back to a long forgotten time effortlessly. I think it looks to be great and will be enlightening to viewers of all age ranges in a light hearted manner.

    I look forward to seeing it on the big screen

  • Comment number 46.

    @pjoseph - I get what you're saying, but what I meant was that rather than being dismissed as some genre fluff, it is still being talked about quite a bit, and in a very positive way. Not that many films (particularly horror films) achieve this.

  • Comment number 47.

    @46 - Dr Roobles

    Fair point.

  • Comment number 48.

    My aunt was one of the original strikers and it is great that this forgotten story has been immortalised in film. Come on the daggers!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm looking forward to Made in Dagenham. And Tamara Drew.

    I prefer Brassed Off to The Full Monty. Better performances, better music, and the scene where Stephen Tompkinson breaks down whilst performing as Chuckles the Clown and goes back to find the balliffs in his house is heart-breaking.

    I absolutely detest Slumdog Millionnaire. If I'd known this film contained scenes of children and young people been tortured and women being burned to death, I'd have run a mile. I really thought I'd have to leave after 40 minutes.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for the tip Dr.K,

    I'm really glad this film has been made and i'll definitely go and see it.
    In Britain we've got a long and proud history of working people standing up from themselves- from the Chartists in my home town of Newport to the miner's buy-out of Tower Colliery in Aberdare in 1995- a fantastic v- sign to successive draconian governments.
    The wonderful thing about films like Brassed Off and now Made in Dagenham though is that theyre about ordinary people, and they celebrate the human spirit. To be honest, id far rather 'feel-good' about films like these than 'feel-good' about the latest Jennifer Anniston/Owen Wilson schmaltz rom-com! We need more British films like this! Thanks for highlighting this Dr K!

  • Comment number 51.

    Come and watch the film at the Barbican in London and support grassroots feminist activism at the same time! Feminism in Lonodn 2010 is selling tickets to this event (http://www.ldnfeministnetwork.ik.com/calendar/6161355200.ikml) to raise money for the conference on Saturday 23rd October (http://www.feminisminlondon.org.uk/home.ikml). Join us for an inspiring evening - the film will be followed by a talk and discussion. Continue the fight for equality - there's still a long way to go!

  • Comment number 52.

    Why was there doubt whether this film would qualify as a UKFC film ? Surely its the very definition of "alternative content".

  • Comment number 53.

    Yup, it's good.

  • Comment number 54.

    Saw an advance screening of the film last week. It blew me away. I must admit I was expecting the 'your job's under threat? Get your tap shoes on' ethos of previous Brit flicks set in similar territory. But no, Made in Dagenham does not divert the audience into reassuring light entertainment in case the painful truth be too much for their delicate, unpoliticised hearts. It manages to do that rare thing - combine knock out story, humour and superb performances with clear, very straight forward and emotionally involving (because the stuff of life) politics.Yes (gasp) the 'p' word - in a mainstream film - bring the smelling salts!
    There's even a gag involving two quotes from Marx.
    Writer Billy Ivory delivers a brilliant script that is down to earth in its dialogue, witty, engaging and also has some wonderful nods towards contemporary life seen through the lens of the past; a pivotal scene typifies the way young people can be distracted from political engagement by the lure of celebrity. Not saying any more, cos that would be spoilin'.
    Prepare to have your preconceptions disproved.

  • Comment number 55.

    Just saw this film. It's bloody great. I laughed and cried watching it. Wonderful acting, wonderful story. I'm not a film critic so I don't know how to say everything was just perfect about how they made it.

    I was 15 when these women went on strike and I can remember how humiliating it was to be paid a very low wage simply because I was a female.

    I hope it wins awards!

  • Comment number 56.

    Just returned from seeing the film, which I thought was great. A good mix of well known actors and some less well known, a sprinkling of classic cars and music, with a bit of history. Excellent. Not so good is the promotional image used for the film which shows a pale blue Cortina with the ladies and Bob Hoskins. The problem is that the car has been spliced and is two rear ends rather than one whole car. A mistake I'm sure. If you look you will see the red lights on each end of the car. Oh dear.

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh dear,
    for the first time ever I find myself in complete disagreement with the good doctor!!
    I thought this film was really quite bland.
    A good story, but a terrible script (I mean dialogue), caricatures instead of characters and I was left completely unmoved throughout...

    Here's my review.
    http://wp.me/p19wJ2-6G

  • Comment number 58.

    Saw this a couple of weeks ago and just have to say that I really enjoyed it but am in complete agreement with the BBFC about the 15 rating, the F word was sprinkled throughtout the film like currants through a Christmas pudding.

    MovieGeek, you seemed to have missed the point that all these women had problems which could potentially derail the campaign - shell-shocked husbands, desire to be part of Swinging London, kids having problems at school, the fact that because of the strike, they ended up having no money. But they overcame their problems and managed to reach their stated goal.

 

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