Director: Sarah Gavron
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Brendan Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep,Anne-Marie Duff, Natalie Press
Carey Mulligan plays Maud Watts, wife, mother and a passive laundry worker in a London sweat shop in 1912. Her friend and co-worker Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) is in an abusive relationship but committed suffragette none the less. After she is asked to make representation to Parliamentary Committee on the role of working women she is badly beaten by her husband and timid Maud steps up. Disillusioned by authority and the subsequent violence of the police at demonstrations Maud, at great personal expense, becomes a participant in the radical wing of the Women’s Movement led by Edith (Helena Bonham Carter). Menaced by a police inspector admirably played by Brendan Gleeson, and inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst (a star cameo by Meryl Streep) she and Emily Davison (Natalie Press) decide to bring the Votes for Women campaign to National attention with tragic consequence. Great topic and the fight for women’s emancipation is much neglected in celluloid, but sadly the telling of this tale is bland and consequently (IMO) the opportunity to make a riveting film has been missed. On the positive side this movie deals with radicalisation and is as much a metaphor for todays’ social problems as it is for women’s emancipation.