From the director of Calendar Girls comes this extraordinary story based on true events. Dagenham, England 1968. At the town?s local Ford automobile plant, Rita O?Grady (Golden Globe? winner Sally Hawkins) is one of only 187 women in a workforce of 55,000 men. Facing overwhelming opposition in this ?man?s world,? Rita rallies her female co-workers to fight for equal pay ? a stand that defies the corporate status quo, threatens her marriage, and ultimately exacts a tragic toll. But with the support of the shop?s steward (Golden Globe? winner Bob Hoskins) and the government?s Employment Secretary (two-time Golden Globe? winner Miranda Richardson), the women become the sensation of the nation ? and the catalyst for a profound turning point in time.
Who would think a movie about an autoworkers strike could be so entertaining and even moving? Made in Dagenham is simply brilliant. Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the limelight when she becomes the leader of a strike by the women who sew the upholstery for a Ford factory in Dagenham, England–a strike that, thanks largely to the efforts of management and unions alike to dismiss it, turns into a struggle over equal pay for women. But because of a smart and subtle screenplay, understated direction, and above all outstanding performances by the entire cast–also featuring Rosamund Pike (An Education), Miranda Richardson (The Crying Game), and Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)–Made in Dagenham never stops being about people, even as its political scope widens. Every step is grounded in human relationships, among the striking women, between Rita and her husband, between the wife of a factory manager and a floor worker. The movie skillfully balances issues of class and gender equality and makes you care deeply about them–and about these people struggling for basic fairness. And it’s funny, sad, and genuinely stirring. Simply a marvelous movie, not to be missed. –Bret Fetzer