Article on the films The King's Speech and Made in Dagenham

I love it how films do this. Make more well known little known facts about important events or people in history, more often when it has to do with the underdog, who makes the big difference and causes the event or person to be even more important or life changing. These kinds of films are a complete joy to watch, when you remind yourself that the inspiring and sometimes amusing scenes are based on real life occurrences.

The first film, is about how the Duke of York, later King George VI, overcame his stammer and other problems which had badly affected his confidence in speech making, with the help of an unassuming Australian speech therapist, a Mr Lionel Logue. Colin Firth deservedly won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Bertie, which is how he was known to friends and family. Geoffrey Rush was nominated, for best supporting actor at the Oscars, understandably, for his role as Mr Logue, who appears to be a very clever but never a show off.

The supporting cast of this brilliant film, includes Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi  and Jennifer Ehle, who interestingly enough, played Colin Firth's love interest in the adaptation of one of Jane Austen's novels. The film is directed by Tom Hooper, who is also known for his direction of the equally brilliant historical drama, the mini series John Adams. And the score is composed by one of my favourite film composers: Alexandre Desplat, who won a British Film and TV Award for the score.

The second film, is how the female workforce at the Ford factory, decided that they should fight for equal pay and better conditions. And they go on strike to make it clear that they are not just joking around with the big bosses of the company. This shows England in the late sixties, a time when you think that great country has already gone through this. But strangely enough, even after the suffragette movements of forty odd years ago, they still haven't addressed equal pay. That's a shock to wake up the younger viewer in the audience and ensures that they pay attention to the rest of it, if the film's quality wasn't enough already.

Sally Hawkins, plays the main character Rita O'Grady, ordinary working class mother with two children and a husband who also works at the plant. (According to the information on the film, her role was based on several women in the same position.) She portrays her role well and says her lines with absolute conviction. But, I am not sure why, Ms Hawkins, whenever she says her lines, it always sounds as though she is about to start crying, slight annoyance, but if you can bear that, this is a great film, made greater because of Bob Hoskin's portrayal of his character, and the lines that he has, the end credits which show mini interviews of the real women of Dagenham and the realism of the film itself.

Its not all inspiring scenes and fiery dialogues between the ford men and the women. There are parts which remind you that these were real people, who, when on strike, didn't still have the same comforts.

Daniel Mays, Geraldine James, Miranda Richardson, Richard Schiff and Rupert Graves round out the supporting cast, and each of them do a stunning job with their respective roles.

Comments

  1. The first quote comes from another film where Bob Hoskin had a supporting role. And its rather like the lines he has in Made in Dagenham.

    "To serve people takes dignity and intelligence. But remember, they are only people with money. And although we serve them, we are not their servants. What we do, Miss Ventura, does not define who we are. What defines us is how well we rise after falling."

    And the second comes from the mini series that Tom Hooper directed that I mention in the article:
    [as John Adams leaves the White House for the last time, he notices the people in the same carriage as him are staring at him] "Stop gawking. I'm plain John Adams. Just an ordinary citizen. Same as yourselves."

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