Title: Made in Dagenham
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Director: Nigel Cole
Writer: William Ivory
Sally Hawkins’ Golden Globe winning in 2009 for HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (2008) prompts herself to the eminent status as a new rising star from UK, so two years later, she acquired another hard-earned leading role in this Nigel Cole (CALENDAR GIRLS 2003, a 7/10) helmed biographic story of women’s fighting for equal rights (equal pay).
It is rather hard to believe that merely half-a-century ago, equal pay would induce such a startling pain-in-the-neck in UK, the most advanced and civilised country in the world, which should have been taken for granted by anyone anywhere now without a second thought. So each and every little progress in the human history needs tremendous effort to push behind it, and gladly this film is able to manage a solid job to portray such an effort with a strongly female-skewed cast.
Hawkins has an ardent inner power within her willowy body, the most intense scene is the explosive encounter between her and her husband (Daniel Mays), when she shoots back with the punchline “It is what it should be!”, definitely a soul-lifting achievement just by one single line and her current ranking is among my top 5 in the leading actress category. Then comes to the supporting group, Oscar-nominees Hoskins and Richardson are both fine, but unfortunately no scene-stealing moment; otherwise veteran Geraldine James and the former Bond-girl Rosamund Pike are the lucky ones here, the former is compellingly amiable even in her saddest time, while the latter deftly utilising her very meagre screen time to declare her faculty in transform some average shots into her personal proscenium (she is among my top 10 supporting actress list).
The film may not be an idiosyncratic piece of work which should have infusing new blood into the heartening but vaguely worn-out biography breed, and more or less, its narrative strategy is too formal and a trifle conservative, but it has its flair in instilling a feel-good assurance to its audience without being dictatorial and sermonic, plus an adroit engineering of its source material into its maximum momentum, and last not the least, a laudable UK troupe is the key of it.