Saturday, 4 July 2020

Misbehaviour

Miss Grenada Gugu Mbatha Raw

A few months ago I listened to the BBC radio 4 programme The Reunion 
It brought together several characters involved in the 1970 Miss World competition , the televised event that featured  MC Bob Hope ,accusations of cheating  the pageant's first black winner and a show stopping demonstration by a women's rights group, and the subsequent revisiting of the story proved to be riveting radio.
The film Misbehaviour is a comic drama which explores multiple themes relation to this now defunked and archaic spectacle.
We follow disillusioned history student Sally ( Keira Knightly) as she joins in with a radical London feminist group in its efforts to disrupt the show at the same time as we follow three of the contestants of the pageant itself.
Miss Sweden ( Clare Roseger) is bored and rebellious of the constraints and treatment put on the girls and wants to study where as the newer black contestants Miss Grenada ( Gugu Mbatha Raw) and the token black South African ( Lorrie Harrison ) are just grateful for a new experience to travel and take part.
Add to the mix a womanising Bob Hope ( Greg Kinnear) and his somewhat strained relationship with his long suffering wife Delores ( Lesley Manville).A tragic and sexist Eric Morley ( Rhys Ifans) whose power lies in his soft spoken wife Julia ( Keely Hawes), a woman who realises that lip service has to be played to the black consentants on show and top heavy black biased judging panel.

As you can see, the film has a great deal to say , not only on feminism , but on racism and relationships in general and provides a facinating snapshot of a place in time, a place that feels sometimes( but not always) a million miles away from today

The disruption of the show, somewhat over shadowed the fact the two black contestants won first and second place, black women of spirit whose lives were inhanced by their success.
Indeed Miss Grenada ( Jennifer Hosten) in her gracious review of the competition in the radio some forty years later had only good things to say about the event and interestingly she went on to become  the Grenadan High Comissioner to Canada .

The cast , as you can see , are a dream bunch , and the performances are top notch .Ifans and Manville  almost steal the show with their tiny but very telling parts, Knightly is as good as she always is, but it's a very still and subtle performance by Gugu Mbatha Raw that impresses the most

It was lovely to be back in the cinema again
Social distancing kept chatting to a minimum and the Storyhouse in Chester had organised everything quite wonderfully 

22 comments:

  1. I've watched the trailer when it first came out but, it's just not my cup of tea. 🤷‍♂️😏 I do remember that actress from the TV show (or, well, web series) Morning Show. 👌🏻

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  2. I think that your Cinema visit should have been fine safety wise and more so than for people who are allowed to travel on buses x

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  3. That sounds seriously interesting and entertaining. I'm so glad you finally got to go to a theater again!
    I was in high school in 1970. Sexism and racism was rampant there and then. (Not in my parent's and our home)
    A classmate and friend of mine dated a black guy, and later moved in with him.( He was the younger brother of my brother's friend). Her parents disowned her- she was bringing shame to them in their country club crowd. -Mary

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  4. Barbara Anne9:07 pm

    This movie is new to me but I don't go to movies in cinemas, just wait until they're on TV.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your outing the cinema in Chester and that their preparation kept everyone safe.

    Hugs!

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  5. Glad it was a good experience today.

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    1. It was professionally run and I tweeted my praise

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  6. We knew Keira Knightly's mother when we were all young. Sharman. She was very pretty and she knew it!

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  7. Sounds like a film worth watching. I am quite jealous that you got to have that proper cinema experience after all this time in lockdown.

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    1. The showrooms on sheffield will be open today neil x

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    2. Thanks. Depending on the weather I will aim to visit in the next week or so.

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  8. My favourite cinema is not yet open. It has offered pay-per-view films in the interim, but I haven't bothered.

    I rarely go to see films as many don't appeal to me. Then, in a short space, i'll see four or five that I want to see and then dearth again.

    I've been too busy with work stuff even to think about going. Maybe before the year is out?

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  9. Sounds like an excellent movie -- thanks for your review!

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  10. When venues get it right it's a joy to be out, glad you are feeding your soul again.

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  11. Nice to hear you are getting your 'fix'

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  12. Glad the cinema was fun. My thing is live music and I'm missing it tbh.

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  13. Great movie review, sounds like you had a great time. Bravo!

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  14. The fact that Muss India won the Miss World title back in 1966 [which I remember vividly], she being the first non-white entrant to ever do so, seems to have been scrubbed from history, though it was reported then in sensational terms - and not only by the tabloids. I suppose with today's shifted sensibilities - for the better, no doubt - it's not exactly the kind of 'victory' that would nowadays be celebrated.

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  15. That's on my list of films to see (via streaming, in my case). Glad your cinema trip was positive and, it sounds like, better organized than London's pub reopenings!

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  16. Glad you enjoyed your outing sounds like a film worth watching.

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