Out Now On-Demand
The time is now.
Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter lead this UK historical drama about the women’s suffrage movement of the late 19th and early 20th century – a feminist movement that saw its foot soldiers forced underground and threatened as a result of their peaceful protest for equality. From director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and Emmy-winning screenwriter Abi Morgan (TV’s The Hour).
Rating: M Violence & offensive language
The tale of one woman’s brave stand against injustice, Suffragette is a gruelling history lesson, alleviated by flashes of heartache and humour. We follow fictional protagonist Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), from humble early 20th Century London laundress, wife, and mother, to fully fledged suffragette, committing acts of civil disobedience in a bid to achieve voting rights and fair pay for women.
Director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and screenwriter, Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady), focus on Maud as representative of those unheralded, anonymous women who turned the tide of British patriarchy. Backed by a top-notch cast, featuring Helena Bonham Carter and a brief, powerful cameo by Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst, it’s refreshing to see men in supporting roles usually occupied by heroes’ wives and mums. It’d be easy to label them cardboard-cut-out, female-hating stereotypes, but Ben Whishaw’s acting chops lend Maud’s unsympathetic husband a third dimension, whilst Brendan Gleeson’s Police Inspector, representing the brutal patriarchal backlash, even comes to question his repressive role.
Is this the best portrayal of the suffrage movement? Probably not (the script never quite shakes a “this is important” historical drama finger-wagging), but it’s the best we have on film so far for a period in history deserving more attention. A tough but riveting watch, with all-round excellent performances, it’s Mulligan’s bravura turn that lingers. Expect award nods for all involved in evoking the superbly realised costumes and sets (the centrepiece scene at Epsom Derby’s a standout), and for Carey Mulligan’s essential Oscar-voter-viewing turn.
Time Out London
The Age (Australia)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Little White Lies (UK)
Honestly, I was hoping for more. Stellar cast and such an emotive topic, it could have been compelling, but I oft found I wanted more from Carey Mulligan's character Maud & better pacing of the film. I will say I was extremely proud to see NZ at the top of the list of countries streamed at the end showing the dates women won the right to vote. I do think the film is important if for no other reason than to remind us of the battle fought to obtain this right and to USE IT!!
Gets my vote
'Suffragette' sometimes manages to be as powerful as it wants to be but unfortunately just as often merely settles for being as solid as it needs to be. Despite its various missteps (including some very strange and distracting cinematography that fails to make best use of the stunning art direction) it ultimately manages to deliver its final blows with a fair amount of power thanks to an almost palpable sense of anger from the filmmakers and (especially) Carey Mulligan's typically brilliant work. Frustratingly uneven then, but since it’s not often that a film feels this overdue and this needed, I’d still call 'Suffragette' essential viewing.
Women's Voices Ring Clear
An arresting film from start to finish with superb performances from Mulligan, Bonham Carter, Wishaw, and Gleeson which, for a 'feminist' film, was balanced in its portrayal of men and the institutions that perpetuated the oppression of women.
A lot of standout performances in this movie and it spoke volumes about the length one would go to, to headline a cause he/she really cares about. Pricks one's conscience, either you are for or against.
The team and crew on this film did well to put together a a great script and storyline based on historical records. The film flowed so well, especially when switching scenes, no hesitancy or jerky moments here.
History has so much to tell.
Nothing changes without people taking action
This movie could have been sappy, over dramatic, too much of a star vehicle (I was seriously worried about Streep being in it), too sensitive to men, too violent but I was just happy they had made it at all.
I went with my famiy, three generations of female voters. A part of me wanted us in a line in the movie house just sharing this amazing work our mothers mothers had done. It is never easy to challange the system. Sometimes though, change happens. And this is where watching Suffragette is great - everyone walks in knowing the spoiler. Women are going to get the vote. And NZ women are going to get it first.
I like movies that make you think and this movie made me think whatam I passively accepting today that I should be speaking up against?
Meryl Streep didn't upstage the movie. It wasn't sappy, it was a lovely period drama, it agve an array of characters life and it celebrated the underwoman, the worker. Go see it.
Fail to portray all
It's an ambitious portrayal of feminism movement at the beginning of the last century. However, almost all characters have richer stories than the lead.