Sometimes period dramas can be a little tame and void of action, but Sarah Gavron’s film has a star studded cast and she really shakes up this normally subdued genre with vivid sets and costumes, deeply convincing acting and a hot-blooded and riveting storyline.
Carey Mulligan plays Maud Watts, a young woman who is a wife, mother and diligent worker in a factory in England circa 1912. Her life is typical of many women of the times; tough long days and subservience to all men, especially her seedy boss (Geoff Bell) who likes to keep his employees in check using sexual harassment and menace tactics, which he finds amusing.
She becomes painfully aware that something needs to change when her friend Violet, (Anne-Marie Duff) a political activist, is badly beaten after trying to make a case for women´s sufferage to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Emeline Pankhurst played (Meryl Streep) adds fuel to her determination and the story becomes a homage to the grit and bravery of the women within the Suffragette movement and their attempts to change a male dominated society, as their every move is shadowed and quashed by the formidable police inspector Steed. (Brendan Gleeson) This will undoubtedly be a big contender for the Oscars.