Back here about six weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming film called Suffragette. I hadn't seen it, I'd just seen the trailer and done some research on the director, Sarah Gavron, in relation to another matter, and tracked down a bit of her other work. What I wrote is that if I had to go out on a limb and be completely presumptuous, not having seen the movie or know what the competition was, I thought it not only could get Oscar nominations for both Ms. Gavron -- impressive for only her second feature film -- and the star Carey Mulligan, but that it could win.
And again, yes, I know that's presumptuous. But if someone said to me that I had to make a long-shot bet based on nothing, I'd make the bet.
Well, I finally saw the movie last night and stand by that position. The movie is wonderful. A few quibbles (it focuses on a few characters, and so you don’t get as much a sense of suffrage as a national movement as I thought might be), but that’s minor. Overall, it’s terrific with a great performance by Carey Mulligan – and Sarah Gavron is quite a talent. Especially considering that this is only her second feature film. She’s got a great career ahead of her. Her sense of craft, camera movement, texture and performance is impressive.
And so, I stand by my “going far out on a limb” prediction (oddly made before even seeing the film) that Carey Mulligan could win the Oscar and so too Ms. Gavron. The latter is more of a challenge because she’s not well-known, but it would be deserving. But I wouldn't be surprised to eventually discover that Ms. Mulligan becomes the favorite.
Who wins is a moot point, of course. More at issue is that the film is terrific. It tells the story of the early women's suffrage movement in England and also features Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep and Brendan Gleeson.
This is an extended trailer from the one I posted before, and I think does a slightly better job presenting the film. Though it leaves out my favorite speech in the film, however it keeps the last line of it, "We will win." (The full passage comes from a where Cary Mulligan has been arrested by Brendan Gleeson who's said, "We will stop you." She tenses up and in a piercing gaze says -- "What are you goin' to do? Lock us all up? We're in every 'ome. We're half the human race. You can't stop us all." You can check that out in the earlier trailer, linked above.) On the other hand, It does include more of two of the most-dramatic moments in the film, a sequence in the laundry where Mulligan works and a real-life event at the Derby.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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