With a working-class heroine at its heart, “Suffragette” opts for entertainment rather than education. Carey Mulligan and Anne-Marie Duff are terrific as they play poor people who are swept up in the battle for women to get the right to vote.
It’s 1912. London looks a little airbrushed, but there’s nice period detail in the costumes and locations. The dialogue tends toward the overly modern, but that might not bother you.
The laundry is described as a toxic environment, but it looks very pretty.
The less you know about the story going in, the more you will enjoy it. And even though it is a disturbing film, there is much to enjoy.
This is Helena Bonham Carter’s best performance ever. She just pulls everything else together and acts as the heart and soul of the movie.
I have a few issues. Would anyone as obviously Irish as Brendan Gleeson have been a senior policeman at the time, given discrimination? Was there really no British actress available to play the role of Emmeline Pankhurst, played here by Meryl Streep? Streep is okay, but her accent is off, just this once.
Grace Stottor, Natalie Press and Finbar Lynch are very good, in smaller roles. Romola Garai and Samuel West have terrific scenes. There is a a very moving performance (as young George) by Adam Michael Dodd.
Geoff Bell needs to get more parts as a villain. He’s creepy, here.
Director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan pull together a nice mix of real events and composite characters.
I do feel it’s played out for an American audience and for Oscar’s attention, rather than for Brits. There’s a little too much of the movie Mary Poppins in the mix of characters.
But my Very Intelligent Friend and a very full Stratford East Picturehouse audience enjoyed it. I did too, but I wished for a little more social realism.