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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Made to Last

A heart-warming ode to life in industrial Britain in the late '60's, 'Made in Dagenham' is a superb film, focused on the plight of female workers in a male-dominated world, and the ladies are well and truly to the fore, none more so than a brilliant Sally Hawkins who gives us a quietly determined and ultimately unshakeable character to root for. Geraldine James and Andrea Riseborough are as good in her support, infusing very different parts with careworn vulnerability and indomitable bravado respectively. And the men are by no means made of straw, the always excellent Bob Hoskins is in top form as the wily union rep, while Daniel Mays makes playing second fiddle an art as the sidelined husband, and there is a rousing performance when Richard Schiff makes a delightfully unexpected appearance as the uncaring American exec. It would be easy to go on rhyming off wonderful turns by fine members of the cast, but two more must be singled out for attention. Miranda Richardson is superbly short-tempered and impatient as woman-at-the-top Barbara Castle, and Roger Lloyd-Pack's performance is a heart-wrenching reminder of a war not so long past at that time. In the end 'Made in Dagenham' is a triumph on many levels, and great credit must go to writer William Ivory and director Nigel Cole, it is worth watching for the production design alone. Made in Britain, Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen, etc.

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