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Suffragette (2015)

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In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting the right for women to vote, and is willing to meet violence with violence to achieve this end.

Director:

Sarah Gavron

Writer:

Abi Morgan
17 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne-Marie Duff ... Violet Miller
Grace Stottor ... Maggie Miller
Geoff Bell ... Norman Taylor
Carey Mulligan ... Maud Watts
Amanda Lawrence ... Miss Withers
Shelley Longworth Shelley Longworth ... Miss Samson
Adam Michael Dodd Adam Michael Dodd ... George Watts
Ben Whishaw ... Sonny Watts
Sarah Finigan ... Mrs Garston
Drew Edwards ... Male Laundry Worker
Lorraine Stanley ... Mrs Coleman
Romola Garai ... Alice Haughton
Adam Nagaitis ... Mr Cummins
Helena Bonham Carter ... Edith Ellyn
Finbar Lynch ... Hugh Ellyn
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Storyline

A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Deeds not words See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Las Sufragistas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,244, 23 October 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,693,356, 10 January 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ruby Films, Pathé, Film4 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote, was born and raised in Moss Side, Manchester England. In 1999, Time Magazine named her one of the top 100 most important people of the 20th Century. See more »

Goofs

The film shows police Inspector Arthur Steed speeding towards Epsom Race Course in a 1912 De Dion Bouton 8hp Torpedo. This brand of Italian motorcar would have been,probably, too expensive for him to own personally or the British government to purchase for use by an ordinary government official. See more »

Quotes

Maud Watts: We break windows, we burn things. Cause war's the only language men listen to! Cause you've beaten us and betrayed us and there's nothing else left!
Inspector Arthur Steed: And there's nothing left but to stop you.
Maud Watts: What you gonna do? Lock us all up? We're in every home, we're half the human race, you can't stop us all.
Inspector Arthur Steed: You might lose your life before this is over.
Maud Watts: We will win.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Countdown: Episode #73.69 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

March of the Women
By Ethel Smyth and Cicely Hamilton
Publisher: Chester Music Ltd trading as J Curwen and Sons
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Re-Telling of a Seminal Moment in British Women's History
6 February 2016 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Years ago the BBC did a series SHOULDER TO SHOULDER (1974) that told the story of the origins and development of the Women's Movement in Britain, with special attention paid to the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union).

Sarah Gavron's film revisits the same territory as it tells the story of the gradual awakening of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) as she sets her marriage and family aside in favor of the Women's Movement. The crux of the action centers around the death of Emily Wilding Davison (Natalie Press) at the 1913 Derby, as she stepped out in front of the horses finishing the race and was crushed to death.

In view of the film's earnestness of purpose, it seems a shame to criticize it. However there are certain jarring elements that do stand out. Abi Morgan's screenplay seems uncertain whether to focus on the political or the familial elements. Maud's husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw) is just too placid a personality to become truly angry about his wife's decision to embrace the Suffagette cause, and the emotional scene where he decides to let his son George (Adam Michael Dodd) to for adoption is straight out of KRAMER VS. KRAMER.

Director Gavron seems too concerned with showing tight close-ups of Mulligan's face as she struggles her way through a dead-end job at the local laundry. Hence we get little sense of the slave-like existence pursued by most working-class women at that time. Meryl Streep, in the cameo of role of Emmeline Pankhurst, simply reprises her Margaret Thatcher turn in THE IRON LADY (2011).

On the other hand, the film does have its moments, especially when Maud goes to the Houses of Parliament and ends up talking about her life in front of David Lloyd George (Adrian Schiller). We get the sense of how much courage it takes to speak up in front of a group of unsympathetic middle-aged men. Helena Bonham Carter is quite surprisingly good as Edith Ellyn, especially in a sequence where she and her co- conspirators plan to blow up a private property constructed for Lloyd George's personal pleasure. The way Edith grinds up the gunpowder reveals her inherent anger at the ways in which women are treated.

The ending is also powerful, as Gavron fades out from the film into faded black-and-white films of Emily Davison's actual funeral taken in 1913. Through this technique we are made aware of the film's importance to an understanding of British social history.


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