Sunday, September 12, 2010

Toronto Days. Toronto Nights: Made in Dagenham

It's remarkable how spectacular this year has been for lead actresses. This year's Best Actress race is going to be one of the tightest ones in years, as we already have plenty nipping at the category's door. Now, Sally Hawkins is making another attempt at making the cut, after being horrendously shot down two years ago. Her new film, Made in Dagenham, follows the a bunch of female factory workers as they try to fight for equal pay. Critics are so far agreeable with the film, and they love Hawkins' performance.

Ray Bennett (Hollywood Reporter): "Period authenticity is nailed within the film's sunny design and sharply drawn characters, with the U.K.'s class structure and male-oriented industries depicted without fuss. It was a simple fact that women were required to do the same work as men but for far less pay. When the machinists at Ford's huge plant in Dagenham, near London, objected to being classified as nonskilled workers in order to keep their wages down, they not only objected but also took action with game-changing impact. Screenwriter William Ivory gives just enough backstory to provide heft for the characters, and Cole draws sprightly performances from the cast without making the women into caricatures. Hopkins plays in a minor key satisfyingly, and Hawkins is as upbeat as she was in Happy-Go-Lucky but with a wariness and steeliness that should win over those who were put off with the chatter of the teacher she played in that film."

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