To Made In Dagenham, An Apology

Now that Made in Dagenham has arrived in the US, I revisited my original review (here). I am quite disappointed in myself, in that I find it a bit patronizing, which absolutely does not reflect how I feel about the movie now, upon reflection, and it CERTAINLY does not reflect how I felt when I actually watched it. I loved it, and had never felt so full of positivity. And would tell anyone to see in a heartbeat. Again and again. The power of its story is more than enough to overcome certain stylistic choices.

That review was one of the earliest I'd written in this blog about 'new movies,' and I suppose I was trying to mimic the more sarcastic variety of professional critic (even now I'm still experimenting with various styles). Well, apparently I succeeded, but I ended up imitating the wrong guy. Many of the reviews written by males (and some females, to be fair) focus on the movie's twee-ness, jauntiness, and general frothiness. On the other hand, most of the reviews I've read by females focus on celebrating the film, its open feminism, and the strength of these women's accomplishments.

There is a sad irony that, the same week that this film was released in the US, the Senate declined to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Bill. The bill already passed in the House, it just needed Senate approval. In the face of failures like these, the value of an uplifting celebration of female revolt increases tremendously. In some ways, it's a more political statement to create a joyful story of success that keeps our eyes on the prize. Why? Because it's inspiring. It keeps us fighting. There comes a point when tales of strife only break our morale and our will to continue. Of course we need to be realistic. But we also need stories to remind us of the powerful impact of success based on collegiality and togetherness and leadership.

So, so what if it's more like a two-hour celebration of women instead of a hard-fought journey to victory? The sad truth is, the only people that are vocally celebrating women publicly in the US are Sarah Palin and the Mama Grizzlies.

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