Suffragette (♦♦♦½)

England, 1912...
Women are demanding their rights to vote, but it is falling on deaf ears. Men in power are either mocking the suffragette movement, or combating it by force. The press is being forced to silence the news-making stories, but all hell breaks loose when a woman willingly gives up her life in the presence of the king to put the suffragette movement in the front page of newspapers around the world.

The only overview that I had of the suffragette movement in England was when reading The Man from St. Petersburg by Ken Follett. It wasn't exclusively on that topic but about the events leading up to WWI. The Man from St. Petersburg did a fine job in introducing women's struggles, but the film Suffragette has definitely filled in the blanks.

Wonderfully acted by mostly a female cast, Suffragette provides some of the background stories that may have fueled the movement: the working women earning much less than men, the physical, sexual, and verbal abuses from bosses, the lack of better standards of life...

In Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan in the leading role with a very spirited performance that may rival her two best ever, those in An Education and Never Let Me Go. As young Maud Watts, she joins the women movement by chance and is forced by ensuing events to surrender to the changes involving the women of the era. Another spirited performance, as we have come to expect from her, is that of Helena Bonham Carter as Edith Ellyn, a pharmacist leading the movement in London. Meryl Streep, in a cameo role as Mrs. Pankhurst, completes the ensemble. Among the male actors are Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Spectre) as Maud's husband, and Brendan Gleeson (Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) as the police inspector.

Comments

  1. I was really moved by this movie. I agree with your assessment of Carey Mulligan in the role and have loved those earlier two movies.And what a treat to see Helena Bonham Carter! Thanks for your review.

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    1. Yes, Judy, this movie left me thinking about women's rights and what it took to gain them.
      Helena Bonham Carter is always a treat to watch. I don't know a more multifaceted actress than her.

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  2. Yes, I hope to rent this movie in the near future. Some great actresses no doubt and an important film!

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    1. While I don't think the film is extraordinary, it was well made with solid performances. Certainly one of the films worth mentioning in a year full of mediocre movies.

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