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Entries in Anne-Marie Duff (4)

Thursday
Dec132018

Months of Meryl: Suffragette (2015)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 


#50 —
Emmeline Pankhurst, key leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom.

JOHN: Vandalizing storefronts, detonating mailboxes, carrying out prison hunger strikes — these are but a few of the risky tactics employed by women in the British suffrage movement in and around London circa 1912. Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette chronicles the movement’s pivot to such dangerous gambles in an effort to draw attention and spark action for the cause. “Deeds, not words” became the new mantra after years of respectable yet unsuccessful solicitation of a woman’s right to vote. These radical activists, led by Emmeline Pankhurst and visionaries like Emily Wilding Davison, Edith New, and scores of others, believed that civil disobedience and militant action were the only ways to disrupt the status quo and achieve women’s suffrage. This crucial moment of history has rarely been represented on screen, save for glimpses of the movement in Mary Poppins or in a handful of documentaries, despite the exciting and provocative elements inherent in this important story.

Unfortunately, “Important Story” could appropriately serve as the tagline and governing principle of Gavron’s misguided though well-intentioned film...

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Monday
Nov022015

"Suffragette" Shoulders into the Oscar Fray

Is “Suffragette” faltering under the weight of overly high expectations?  With its impressive pedigree and unimpeachable subject matter, Sarah Gavron’s historical drama about the militant wing of the British suffragist movement seemed poised to be a strong Oscar contender for this fall.  Now, as we move towards the holidays, its status is looking uncertain: reviews have been mixed, and it’s drawn criticism for everything from its limited narrative focus to the limited screen time of Meryl Streep, who receives top of the line billing for a role that’s essentially no more than a cameo.  

If there’s a common trend to the criticism, it’s that the critics seem mostly preoccupied with what the movie doesn't do rather than what it does.  “Suffragette” is less a historical chronicle of the suffragettes than a snapshot view through the eyes of one (fictional) working class woman who’s accidentally and at first reluctantly drafted into their ranks.  It’s a study of what circumstances would drive such a woman to join a movement that would seem to hold no immediate benefit or attraction for someone in her position.  [more...]

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Friday
Oct092015

Pictures from a Rebellious Premiere

Here's Murtada on the opening night of the BFI London Film Festival.

The BFI London Film Festival opened Wednesday night with a gala premiere of Suffragette. Alongside stars Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter, protesters made their voices heard. The group Sisters Uncut chose this movie about suffragettes to protest the UK government’s recent cut of funds supporting victims of domestic abuse.

It was an apt choice and led to some interesting pictures. On the same red carpet the latest couture gowns mixing with color bombs and protest signs. Glamour and activism after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jun032015

YNMS: Suffragette 

Every day since Cannes wrapped it's become clear that the Oscar charts must be updated. We were already banking on Focus Feature's Suffragette for a Best Picture nomination but when we update we might get even more bullish after this new trailer and that prime October real estate (October has been very kind to Best Pictures of late - December is so passe). Anyway, let's not get distracted with Best Picture talk.

Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan as Maud, a working wife and mother who is recruited to join the growing movement and becomes a fierce activist. Mulligan, having a great year with Far From The Madding Crowd's success and a Tony nomination, will likely reap Oscar traction if people like the film but she's backed up by quite the ensemble of talented ladies. Meryl Streep is apt to get all the glory, as she does, for her small role as Emmeline Pankhurst, a catalyst for the story and an icon of Suffragette history, but I'll be interested to see which other members of the supporting cast can win any attention or praise (if any) for strong characterizations or memorable scenes once people start seeing the whole film. Suffragette will premiere at the London Film Festival. 

The trailer and our Yes No Maybe So breakdown -- which we'll do a little differently this time -- after the jump...

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