Rather than try to tackle the decades of history leading up to the British government’s granting of limited voting rights for women in 1918, Suffragette collages a particularly tumultuous eighteen-month period of violence and retaliation in a real and present way. Avoiding broad strokes, director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan paint each character with detailed grit and infectious idealism, and the prestigious cast, gravitating around an excellent lead performance by the quietly brilliant Carey Mulligan, lends each historical event an uncanny familiarity. The film sells a world-gone-by while also tapping into the never-more-relevant zeitgeist of radical feminism, reminding audiences that the work towards equality is far from done.
In the modern era of blockbusters, almost all the studio tentpole releases seem to have a plan to join up with a series of other films in the hopes of creating a Cinematic Universe. Marvel launched theirs over the course of 4 years, DC is well on its way and Universal made an abortive attempt at combining their monster movies, starting with the flop that was Dracula Untold. However, one could say that this tradition was in fact launched in 1986 by Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim’s Avengers-style mash-up of Disney fairytales. This unique spin on these classic tales provide the basis for an energetic and strikingly shot film adaptation, which manages to just about overcome the inherent weaknesses of its genre through a very charming cast. (more…)