Friday, January 28, 2011

dinner and a movie: Made in Dagenham

Made in DagenhamThe backstory: Made in Dagenham is nominated for three BAFTA Awards: Outstanding British Film of the Year; Best Supporting Actress, Miranda Richardson; and Best Costume Design.

The basics: Made in Dagenham is the story of the striking female machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham, England in 1968.

My thoughts: I'm a huge fan of films about both women's rights and social justice, and I admit to tearing up during the trailer for this film. Made in Dagenham delivers exactly what it promises: an inspiring story, intelligent laughs, period fashion and accents that are difficult to understand at times. The story of these women is indeed extraordinary, but the film never veered over the top. It was true to its time and honestly portrayed the distinctions between doing what's easy and being an agent of change.

Sally Hawkins is dynamite as the strike's unlikely leader, Rita. I give credit to her and Nigel Cole, the film's director, for honestly portraying her as nervous and not always eloquent. Sure, she was eloquent by the speech's end, but the imperfections of her character made her both more believable and easier to relate to. Her performance is the anti-Aaron Sorkin dialogue. In this case, I'll take substance and authenticity over style.

The verdict: Made in Dagenham may not surprise, but it does inspire and delight.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 113 minutes
Release date: It's playing in these theaters now
Source: I paid to see it at the Spectrum Theatres

After the movie I venture two doors down to New World Bistro Bar for dinner. They were having a "July in January" weekend and celebrating summer food and drink during the middle of winter. (The timing was appropriate: the low in Albany was -13 that night!) I decided to treat myself to a summer frisee salad with pomegranate seeds, blood orange segments, toasted coconut, starfruit and a honey, ginger dressing. It was bursting with flavor and absolutely delicious. With the cold weather, I couldn't stick with all summer food, however, and I enjoyed one of my favorites: mushroom risotto. It transported me right back to winter, and I loved every bite.

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  1. I hadn't heard of this movie before, but it sounds excellent, and that salad is magnificent! It gives me some creative ideas for my lunches, so thanks for sharing that lovely photo and the information! Great post!

  2. My friend is on the SAG nominating committee and so has a screener of this. She was desperate for me to watch it back around the holidays, but I was so busy that it just sat on my table until she asked for it back. I suppose I need to go beg her to let me have another go at watching it?! Have you ever seen Ironed Jawed Angels? Fantastic movie about women's suffrage and Alice Paul.

  3. I saw a preview for this before The King's Speech. It looked really good. I'll have to check it out.

  4. It's been playing at my local indie theatre, so when I saw your review, it twigged my memory. I went last night and quite enjoyed it. I teared up as well, and just loved Bob Hoskins in it especially. thanks for the review. I hope to see Barney's Version, Blue Valentine, and the King's Speech this month as all play this month. Perfect Oscar viewing for February.


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