In might be 2015, but gender inequality and women’s rights are still topics we grapple with on a daily basis (not to mention myriad other social problems that can make us feel pretty backwards). In the movie world, all one needs to do is look at income equality (many female stars have come forward to admit they usually make far less than their male co-stars) and sexism in the industry (check out that depressing Sundance Institute report from a few months back that details just how far behind we are in making a level playing field for female voices and filmmakers). So a drama like “Suffragette,” about the women’s rights groups who fought for equality in early 20th century Britain, sadly seems more relevant than ever.
You could also say there’s some serious Oscar-bait power behind it. The movie stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. It also features Ben Whishaw, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, Natalie Press, and is directed by BAFTA Award winner Sarah Gavron (“Brick Lane,” “This Little Life”) from an original screenplay by Emmy winner Abi Morgan.
Here’s the synopsis:
The stirring story centers on Maud (played by Carey Mulligan), a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.’s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. When increasingly aggressive police action forces Maud and her dedicated fellow suffragettes underground, they engage in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the authorities, who are shocked as the women’s civil disobedience escalates and sparks debate across the nation. Inspired by true events, SUFFRAGETTE is a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of those who risked all they had for women’s right to vote – their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives.
‘Suffragette” opens October 23rd in New York and Los Angeles, and will expand nationwide in the following weeks. It just premiered at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend, and you can read our review here. Watch the new trailer below.