Made in Dagenham (2010) In the cloyingly nostalgic, femme-courting industrial drama Made in Dagenham , Sally Hawkins plays Rita O'Grady, a factory worker in not-so-swinging 1960s England who leads… 2010-11-19 R PT113M Sally Hawkins Bob Hoskins Rosamund Pike Miranda Richardson Sony Pictures Classics
Movie Review

Made in Dagenham (2010)

MPAA Rating: R
Made In Dagenham | WOMAN TALK Miranda Richardson and Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham
Image credit: Susie Allnutt
WOMAN TALK Miranda Richardson and Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham
EW's GRADE
C

Details Limited Release: Nov 19, 2010; Rated: R; Length: 113 Minutes; With: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins and Rosamund Pike; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

In the cloyingly nostalgic, femme-courting industrial drama Made in Dagenham, Sally Hawkins plays Rita O'Grady, a factory worker in not-so-swinging 1960s England who leads her auto-upholstery-stitching sisters in a successful fight for equal pay for equal work. Rita's a spunky, birdy wife and mum (which is a good use of Hawkins, the spunky bird who turned the world on with her smile in Mike Leigh's 2008 Happy-Go-Lucky), but she's reluctant to lead. Then lovable union guy Albert (Bob Hoskins) gets her fired up, and pretty soon she discovers — bloody 'ell! — it's good to have a voice, innit?

The strikes that began at the Ford plant in Dagenham were real, and resulted in precedent-setting changes in labor laws. Rita and her fellow strikers, however, are specimens of an invasive species of Fictionalized Colorful British Ladies bred from director Nigel Cole's compost of fact. (His previous FCBLs posed in their birthday suits in Calendar Girls.) Waving a dubious flag of feminist inclusivity, Cole and screenwriter William Ivory turn cartwheels insisting that girl power, even in the 1960s, trumped class divisions: An Education's refined Rosamund Pike has a thankless role as a manager's wife who sides with the prole ladies. Tough boots for the men, though. Aside from Albert and, in a last-act conversion, Rita's hubby (Daniel Mays), the blokes are all chauvinist jokes. C

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Originally posted Nov 17, 2010 Published in issue #1130 Nov 26, 2010 Order article reprints