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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Suffragette (2015)

In 1912 London, a young wife and mother (Carey Mulligan) works as a laundress. When she reluctantly helps out a co-worker (Anne Marie Duff) by testifying in front of Parliament about voting rights for women, it is the beginning of her radicalization. Directed by Sarah Gavron, this is a well made but fairly predictable look at the early days of the women's movement in Great Britain. Considering how potent the subject matter is, it's surprising how often uninvolving the film often is. Indeed, the most powerful and affecting moments come at the very end when we see actual footage of the funeral of a suffragette who died for the cause which is followed by a scrawl listing how long it took for women to get the vote in many countries (1953 in Mexico! Really??). Mulligan gives a strong no nonsense performance but the supporting cast is very good too especially Helena Bonham Carter as a woman whose devotion to the cause is destroying her health. With Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw, Natalie Press and in a cameo, Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst. 

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