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Made in Dagenham

May 13th  at 7.45 pm
 
Nigel Cole        2010          Cert 15 
 
A feelgood dramatisation of the 1968 strike by women at the Ford's Dagenham motor plant, starring Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins.
 
Made In Dagenham
 
Sally Hawkins leads a cherry-picked ensemble cast, with her quavering voice and diminutive stature put to good use as Rita, the patronised little woman who rises to the occasion when she's nominated by colleagues to lead the strike and related negotiations with Ford and their union. Bob Hoskins is basically on auto-pilot as the cheeky geeza-come-paternal union rep who supports the gals (he's forced to play out a running Sid James-worthy joke in which he enters their sweaty section of the factory to find them stripped down their smalls); and Rosamund Pike makes the most of her (literally) supporting role as the posh bird married to one of the big bad Ford bosses - who expresses her solidarity with Hawkins' character by lending her a posh frock.

But the real star of the show is Miranda Richardson as the first and only female First Secretary of State, Barbara Castle ("I am sick of being patronised, spoken down to, and generally treated as if I was the May Queen", she puffs in exasperation), whose flame-red barnet, pursed lips and firebrand demeanour weirdly, though inevitably, channel - even through thick Blackburn accent - her glory days as Blackadder's Queenie..
 
While the political grit behind the saga is somewhat sidelined, this is a fun watch enhanced by its stellar British cast.