Watch “Suffragette” Trailer: Women & the Vote #suffragette #righttovote

Steamy sweatshops and grey-tinged London vistas add production design grit, evoking a world in which backbreaking work and strength-sapping silence are equally stifling. This is an important story and Suffragette tells it without stylistic fuss or frills in solidly down-the-line fashion.

The film intertwines socioeconomic detail with domestic melodrama as Maud leads us from the fringes of the fight to the firing line, her composite character providing a thumbnail sketch of collective oppression into which Carey Mulligan breathes admirable individuality. Meryl Streep provides a fleetingly aloof cameo as Emmeline Pankhurst, rallying the troops from the balcony before disappearing into the night, but the real firebrand is Helena Bonham Carter as chemist Edith Ellyn, who provides the movement’s combustible spark.

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