So what’s up with that Oscar race? Well, as Oli just outlined in his piece on the contenders for Best Actor and Best Actress, Focus Features’ women’s right drama, “Suffragette” was sort of cooly received by audiences in Telluride (read our review). But as he also noted, the film is arriving right as the topic of feminism and equal rights is hitting the zeitgeist once again and its classicism could strike a major chord with Oscar voters who don’t care what critics think.
Backing up, “Suffragette” centers on the struggle for women’s voting rights in 1910s Britain and it has a hell of a cast. The always terrific Carey Mulligan stars (and she’s great) and the ensemble also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Natalie Press and Meryl Streep. Here’s the official synopsis:
Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, lead the cast of a powerful drama about the women who were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality in early-20th-century Britain. 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. The film also stars Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, and Natalie Press.
Directed by BAFTA Award winner Sarah Gavron (“Brick Lane,” “This Little Life”) from an original screenplay by Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady,” “The Hour”), as “Suffragette” prepares to hit theaters, Focus Features has released two new clips, plus characters posters for the entire cast. “Suffragette” opens October 23rd in New York and Los Angeles and then begins expanding across the country in the following weeks. Watch the new clips below.