Here’s another mini-review before I post my full June movie roundup sometime next week…
Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
Starring: Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Manville, Rhys Ifans, Greg Kinnear
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
A group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London.
I enjoyed this despite my weird hatred for Keira Knightley. Her acting bothers me yet I seem to watch all her damn movies?! I prefer this longer Wikipedia synopsis to tell you what this is about: “The 1970 Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by the US comedian Bob Hope. At that time Miss World was the most-watched TV show in the world with over 100 million viewers. Arguing that beauty competitions objectify women, the newly formed women’s liberation movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition.”
This is a true story I knew nothing about but fully support because, let’s face it, beauty pageants are demeaning & sexist. But, yeah, I totally watched them as a kid & thought nothing of them as that’s just how the world was. Hopefully they’ve modernised them a bit nowadays?? I have no clue. But I liked seeing these Women’s Liberation activists disrupt this pageant after its host, Bob Hope, made a sexist joke. As with any film adaptation, though, I’m sure it’s not 100% accurate. Okay – I looked up the real footage and, yes, it was much more dramatic in the film. But Bob Hope certainly made plenty of sexist jokes! Icky. Here’s the footage but you can’t really tell that the women are throwing flour bombs at the stage.
What made the whole thing even more interesting was this (from Wikipedia, but it gives the result away if you don’t want to know that before watching the movie): “Even greater controversy then followed after the result was announced. Jennifer Hosten won becoming the first Black woman to win Miss World and the black contestant from South Africa was placed second.” So they rightly disrupted a very sexist pageant but, at the same time, it was the first of these pageants to give other women these opportunities & the winner was a very intelligent woman with a successful life & career following the pageant (whether or not that was helped by winning I don’t know but I’m sure it helps open some doors). So arguments can be made both for and against these contests but the movie doesn’t explore that quite as much as it could have. There’s also a bit at the end in the dressing room that you just know didn’t happen in real life but that they added just to make things more interesting for the film. That’s fine – I always say that if I want the true story I’ll watch a documentary.
This story is interesting enough that I would watch a documentary too but the movie does a decent enough job of bringing a story that probably isn’t well known to a slightly bigger audience even if the film doesn’t really dig too deeply into its subject matter. But I really enjoyed the movie & everyone did a good job, including annoying Knightley & Jessie Buckley as two of the protesters. I especially liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the contestant they focus on the most. Oh, and Greg Kinnear was surprisingly good as the truly smarmy Bob Hope. Was Hope always so smarmy?! Guess I don’t remember that from my childhood – I thought he was an American national treasure. Huh.
My Rating: 7/10
*Here’s a small complaint about the poster for this movie: Jessie Buckley is making that dumb selfie duckface. We didn’t make that stupid face before stupid selfies came along. I’m sure you can find some old pictures – I think Marilyn Monroe will have done “kiss face” type photos. But it’s more of a modern thing. So it’s annoying to see it on someone in a film set in 1970 even though I know she’s making fun of pageants & posing. Dumb complaint, I know, but the duckface annoys the hell out of me & makes me wonder if the people actually know how to genuinely smile anymore.
My family used to watch these things too. I thought they were some sort of big deal? Wasn’t it recently they said the wrong name and had to take it back or something?
That’s funny about Hope. Occasionally I’ll look at some of his shit and it’s ALL very -uuhhhhh- passive sexist maybe? Is that a term? I don’t know anything.
Yeah, I remember seeing about the wrong name being said several years ago so guess they’re still going! Don’t think they’re as popular now as they were in the past but assume they’re still big down South in Texas & stuff. They love their beauty pageants! Especially those creepy child beauty pageants. Ew.
Passive sexist should be a term! I dunno. Maybe it is. Like passive aggressive! I’m SO passive aggressive. It’s, like, the only thing I’m good at. Well, that & holding grudges. 😁
Anyway. Yeah. Was Bob Hope a dick & we didn’t realize it at the time?? Lol. Probably.
That’s a fair enough thing to be good at. That and passing judgement- I’m good at that one. And passing other things I suppose. 💨
Do they show the bikini round of the Miss World contest? Asking for a friend…. 😉
Well, I don’t remember any bikinis but they did show the swimsuit competition. Think they were all one-piece (maybe). It was the olden times!! 😉
One-pieces are cool – so my friend says… <_<
Man, beauty contests. Wrong on so many levels. Children’s beauty contests – they’re even worse. And to think that you used to get (still do, perhaps?) ‘most beautiful baby’ competitions. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Where did you watch this, T9M? It sounds like something I’d really enjoy, especially as it features a strong cast. (I’m a big fan of Keeley Hawes.)
Ugh, child beauty contests are the worst. Can’t believe they’re still a thing! (At least I think they are?). Yuck. Oh, I saw this on Sky Cinema. Signed up for a six month Sky Cinema deal on NowTV recently so that’s partly why I’m watching so many movies & getting into trouble with the hubby for it. Lol. Just want to get everything watched before the six months are up! 😉 Hope you’re able to check this one out – I think you’d enjoy it. 😊
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