Based on real events a century ago that still resonate loudly today, this movie takes a cleverly fictionalised angle to explore the suffrage movement, a story that astonishingly has never been put on film before. Screenwriter Abi Morgan's script brings intelligence and honesty to the characters, avoiding cliches to make the political statements as fresh and important today as they were back then. And it's anchored by another solid performance from Carey Mulligan.
She plays Maud, a young woman in 1912 London who has grown up working in a grim laundry, which is where she met her husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw). Then her best friend Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) introduces her to the women's voting rights movement led by Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep). And Maud is intrigued, joining with her local chemist's wife Edith (Helena Bonham Carter) for protests and getting involved in civil disobedience. This puts her on the list of offenders followed by a tenacious policeman (Brendan Gleeson), and Sonny finds it very difficult to cope with the embarrassment. So Maud has to make a very tough decision about whether to carry on the fight.
Making the film's main characters working-class heroines was a clever way to draw in modern-day audiences. In real life, the suffragettes were middle-class women who didn't particularly want any of the working class (men or women) to have the vote. But of course, once the movement started, it didn't end there, ultimately extending right through society. And the film cleverly mixes these fictional characters alongside real historical figures to bring the events vividly to life. Mulligan provides the emotional gut punch as an intelligent but uneducated woman who has been abused all her life and is finally standing up for herself. Her scenes with each of the supporting cast have real power, including less sympathetic characters like Whishaw's loving but fearful husband.
Continue reading: Suffragette Review
Throughout the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, a secret war took place on the streets of England. For years, women of all ages and classes had fought for their right to vote, although they used politics and reason as their biggest weapon. When no clear results were seen, a specialist group formed a more radical idea - to take the political campaign out of the shadows and into the streets, with protests and fighting to gain what was theirs by right. But as the government fights back even harder, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Continue: Suffragette - Teaser Trailer
On a bleak East London estate, Aaron (Ahmed) is a low-life dealer hanging out with his thuggish best pal Ed (Skrein). When Ed's phone goes missing, they trace it to crack-addict Michelle (Mond), who they force to turn tricks to pay Ed back. Meanwhile, a young kid (Indianda) must prove himself if he wants to join a gang led by Marcel (Sagar). Later, Aaron has a chance encounter with terrified Katya (Press), who abandons her baby with him. Unable to find her, Aaron lets Ed arrange a black-market adoption.
Continue reading: Ill Manors Review
Ill Manors follows the hardships of six unrelated people in London - Kirby, and ex-drug dealer fresh from prison; Ed (Skrein), a ruthless thug with his own agendas; the drug-dependent Michelle (Anouska Mond); Jake, who has somehow got tangled up in gang-related affairs; Chris (Allen), who is seeking revenge; Katya (Press), who seeks to escape; and Aaron (Ahmed) who is intent on doing the right thing.
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While working on a human geography project as part of her studies, Nikki (Press) travels to an isolated Scottish island and presents herself as a prospective tenant at isolated house owned by her birth mother Phyllis (McTeer), who doesn't recognise her. As she plots her revenge against the woman who abandoned her, she's surprised to discover that she has a brother, Calum (Morgan). But her continual questions about their husband-father are blanked, and life on the island becomes increasingly intriguing as she seeks answers about her past.
Continue reading: Island Review
When he's commissioned to paint a local militia group in 1642 Amsterdam, Rembrandt (Freeman) has premonitions of trouble, but goes ahead and creates a fiercely untraditional painting that reveals rather too many secrets about the musketeers depicted in it. While painting it, his sparky wife (Birthistle) gives birth to his son, but becomes seriously ill in the process, eventually causing him to turn to the family nurses (Holmes and May) for company. And when complete, the portrait, The Night Watch, has drastic repercussions on his career.
Continue reading: Nightwatching Review
For all the watching going on in Red Road, there is precious little safety -- in fact one of the tropes that writer/director Arnold (in an extremely impressive feature debut) insistently returns to is the resolute unsafety of these people's worlds, no matter how much technology surrounds them. Arnold's protagonist is Jackie (the fantastically affecting Kate Dickie) a bracingly cold and shut-off woman who works at the City Eye, controlling a bank of cameras with a joystick, occasionally zooming on something menacing or just plain out of the ordinary, watching. Her contact with the human race is limited practically to these TV screens, having shut herself off from her parents and seemingly keeping no friends; the only relationship with any regularity we see is a functional and depressing affair carried on with a married man occasionally in his van. Arnold sinks viewers deep into Jackie's self-induced loneliness, letting out only the faintest hints about what tragedy has pushed her into this suffocating state (Was there a husband? A daughter?), before Jackie sees a man's face on the camera one day which she remembers from her past.
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Mona (Nathalie Press) is a disaffected teen living in the English countryside. Feeling alienated from her ex-con born-again brother Phil (Paddy Considine) who's turned their family bar into a makeshift church, she strikes up a friendship with Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a boarding school student at home for the summer. Tamsin, too, has some grief in her life. Her unfaithful father never gives her the time of day, and she has yet to get over the death of her sister. Tamsin and Mona's combined disillusionment and loneliness slowly turns to affection, and the two begin a passionate affair.
Continue reading: My Summer Of Love Review
Mona (Natalie Press) is a plain and provincial redheadwith an artistic bent, sexually gullible and unsure of herself. She's beenmiserable since her caretaker older brother (the superb Paddy Considine)returned from prison, adamantly (read: desperately) clinging to newfoundborn-again Christianity.
Tamsin (Emily Blunt) is a brazen, sultry hothouse brunettebooted from a series of private schools ("Apparently I'm a bad influence")and seemingly haunted by the death of her anorexic sister while stayingthe summer at her neglectful daddy's manse in the hills above Mona's depressedYorkshire factory town.
When they meet, this pair with nothing in common discoversan addicting synergy between them that escalates into obsession that knowsfew boundaries, be they psychological or even sexual. "If you leaveme, I'll kill you," they swear to each other as if it were the mostloving promise in the world.
Continue reading: My Summer Of Love Review