Made In Dagenham [Blu-Ray] Nigel Cole

Made In Dagenham [Blu-Ray] Nigel Cole
It would be nice to think that there has been some progress in working conditions in the past 50 years, but given current attitudes towards unions, things might be regressing slightly. Add to that the fact that there's still a gender gap when it comes to salary and the women involved in the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 might wonder why they bothered at all. Made In Dagenham tells the story of that strike, where the female workers walked out after being reclassified as "unskilled labour" so that the Ford Motor Company could pay them a lot less than their male counterparts. It was all done with the blessing of their union and an allegedly supportive Labour government, but rather sit there and take it they fought and helped establish the Equal Pay Act two years later. In fact, everything goes so swimmingly that it's hard to believe it's based on a true story. The film manages to find the lighter side of sexism and succeeds, as a result. It doesn't, however, treat the subject matter frivolously and it works well as a tale of some plucky women who overcome the odds that are naturally stacked against them. That translates into an enjoyable movie that's a little predictable, but manages to get by on its charm and the performances of a very likeable cast, particularly Sally Hawkins and Miranda Richardson. It's hard not to make comparisons to other British working-class comedies like The Full Monty and there's a certain satisfaction when the film reaches its obvious climax, as it's easy to know who to cheer for. Good really does triumph over evil sometimes. Director Nigel Cole does an adequate job with an undemanding screenplay, but redeems himself with a commentary track, which is well worth listening to. Unfortunately the very typical collection of extras (deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and outtakes) is only included in standard definition, undermining the need for a Blu-Ray. In fact, the only reason to look at the film in hi-def is to enjoy the vibrant colours of the authentic '60s clothing. (Maple)