SUFFRAGETTE | LONDON FILM FESTIVAL

We had an overseas movie critic get in touch with us last week and ask if we would be interested in publishing a few reviews from the London Film Festival – HELLS YES we would! Please welcome an international correspondent and fellow movie critic, Maysa Monção from CinesocialUK.com, who joins us as an honorary Salty Kernel. Her first review from the festival is SUFFRAGETTES, an Oscar, BAFTA and awards driven movie with a cast that explodes my mind. Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Brendan Gleeson and my boyfriend, Ben Whishaw (I don’t like him playing a bad person :(). You may have heard about this one, it made the Australian news this week with all the protesting on the red carpet, protesting completely supported by the lead actors themselves, because it is, after all, what they do throughout the movie. There is no announced release date as yet for Australia, but this one will make decent coin, expect a release in cinemas to be announced soon. Now, welcome our international festival critic, Maysa……all the best…..JK.

 

SUFFRAGETTE MAUD WATTS (CAREY MULLIGAN) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SUFFRAGETTE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW FROM THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL | MAUD WATTS (CAREY MULLIGAN) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY MAYSA MONÇÃO

It was more or less a year ago that Emma Watson launched HeForShe and campaigned for gender equality at the UN. Then, Patricia Arquette said “it is our time to have wage equality once and for all” at the Oscar acceptance speech. Now silenced actors and scriptwriters are raising their voice. There couldn’t be a better moment and a better city for the world premiere of SUFFRAGETTE than today at the London Film Festival. Meryl Streep waved to Arquette “go, girl” and here she came to discuss with us why she is a humanist, not a feminist.

“My character (Emmeline Pankhurst) states that ‘it is deeds, not words, that will get us to vote’. And that is what I stand for.” She then reminds us that there are two places in the world that women can’t vote: Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.

SUFFRAGETTE was a group of women in the UK in the 1920s that fought for equality using civil disobedience. They had been fighting for fifty years till they finally got their right to vote. But history is never that simple. That is what SUFFRAGETTE tries to shout out. History is often suffering.

 

SUFFRAGETTES EDITH NEW (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SUFFRAGETTE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW FROM THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL | EDITH NEW (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

By staging the conditions of women at work in Britain, the movie documents how the silenced voices gradually made themselves heard. Good camera moves in the riots; classic tension; family sensibility; expected soundtrack. And the outcome is what Streep says: “There is no such a thing as women’s history. There is history, and women have been shut out”.

The movie itself doesn’t offer many surprises. In fact, Streep only appears in two scenes. When questioned on that subject, the director explained that they preferred to tell the story from the point of view of workers, and not the most privileged classes – Emmeline Pankhurst (Streep’s character) was the leader of the movement.

Even though production is majourly led by women: Sarah Gavron directs; Faye Ward produces; Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Ann-Marie Duff are on it, it seems that Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson are more interesting. Sonny Watts (Whishaw) is Maud’s (Mulligan) husband and actually lives the conflict of witnessing his wife choosing the cause over her obligations as mother and worker. He reverts to drastic decisions to save his ass. Gleeson is the inspector, who is morally compromised with the law. His reaction when women start to go on hunger strikes in prison is dubious. Does he finally surrender to humanism or he is just thinking of the consequences of the deaths to the public opinion? I tend to think that he surrenders, because the law is on his side.

It is very, very unlikely that such a production would be easily funded. As Faye explains: “Women [the roles] are not funny”. The script took six years to be born into images and sound. In Hollywood women don’t get to decide, they don’t get to write history. Streep has done her research: there are thirty-seven men in the New York Film Critics Board and… two women. There are seven more male film critics than women in Rotten Tomatoes (Ed’s note: don’t stress too much about RT – they have difficulty accepting anyone, they have their heads stuck up their asses).

 

SUFFRAGETTES EMMELINE PANKHURST (MERYL STREEP) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SUFFRAGETTE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW FROM THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL | EMMELINE PANKHURST (MERYL STREEP) MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

What is the solution for equality? A world without men? If you think I was the first to elaborate this ideal philosophy you are wrong. Go and search for this movie I watched at the Toronto Film Festival. It is called NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT. It is a SUFFRAGETTE without suffering. A comedy about women giving birth to women in a society where sperm is obsolete.

But if you really, really want to get deep into it and question what happens when women finally get into power, as a PM (Margaret Thatcher) or a president (Dilma Roussef), then you would go back to a painful history. The moment women lose their popularity, they are loathed. They are called fat, ugly. Not incompetent. Incompetent are men. Virtue is only for men – I am not kidding. The word virtue comes from the Latin “vir”, which means m-a-n.

Meryl Streep is in fact more versed towards deeds than words. She has recently funded a lab for women’s scriptwriters over forty, because “usually at that age they are already out of competition”. Possibly history can be rewritten in the future. Streep also talks of Malala Yousafzai as a unquestionable leader. At seventeen, she was the winner of the Noble Peace Prize. And to corroborate my thoughts on the better moment of giving voice to women, London Film Festival brought HE NAMED ME MALALA for a special presentation.

In conclusion even though SUFFRAGETTE can get dull and hard as a bone, eat the bone, inside the bone there is a honeycomb.

 

3 Pops

 

 

I am a Writer! When I was 9 I asked my granddad a typewriting machine for birthday gift. All my activities, and they are many, are driven to this compulsive vicious which is writing. I have worked as a proofreader, translator, editor, PR, professor, film reviewer, marketing and press department, using my language skills. I can fullfil this resume with words that might call your attention: hardworking, creative, self-driven pro, reliable, admin skills, elegant, smiley, etc. but we know that this doesn’t really work out at a work environment. What works out is your determination to do what you think you are best at! When I find a cause or a project I am identified with I can convince Putin to join into it!

 

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