Home Misbehaviour

Misbehaviour (12A)

Cast: Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Rhys Ifans
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Rebecca Frayn, Gaby Chiappe
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Release Date: 13/03/2020
Running Time: 106mins
Country: UK
Year: 2020

Sally Alexander experiences gender discrimination in her pursuit of academic excellence. She is persuaded to lend her voice for change to an outspoken wing of the Women's Liberation Movement. The group plan a high-profile protest outside the 1970 Miss World beauty pageant organised by Eric Morley and his wife Julia. Sally suggests the activists could buy tickets to the pageant, secretly infiltrate the audience and disrupt the live TV broadcast.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Misbehaviour (12A)

The fight to end female objectification explodes in a cloud of white flour in director Philippa Lowthorpe’s timely drama of empowerment and activism. Based on a true story, Misbehaviour harks back to an era which crudely defined swimsuit-clad physical perfection as a curvy 36-24-36. Screenwriters Gaby Chiappe and Rebecca Frayn distil emotionally charged newspaper headlines from November 1970 into an entertaining but lightweight rallying cry against sexism, which preaches politely to the Me Too and Time’s Up congregations…

Keira Knightley as Sally Alexander and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jennifer Hosten in Misbehaviour, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe. Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh. Copyright: Pathe Productions Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Key messaging is divided predominantly between Keira Knightley’s prim academic and Jessie Buckley’s authority-flouting motormouth, who baits the police by defiling offensive billboard adverts with a can of spray paint. Fractiousness predictably mellows into sisterly solidarity, building to a climactic act of defiance in front of an estimated 100 million TV viewers – more than the moon landings. Caught in the middle is Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the first Miss World contestant from Grenada, who intends to use her appearance to convince girls back home that “they have a place in the world”. She is luminous as an internally conflicted trailblazer committed to disproving assumptions that beauty is skin deep. Regrettably, Lowthorpe’s film doesn’t follow her example and glides elegantly on the surface of characters’ clashing ideals.

The first voice for change is historian and working mother Sally Alexander (Knightley), who experiences gender discrimination in her pursuit of academic excellence. She answers the call of an outspoken wing of the Women’s Liberation Movement whose rabble-rousing members include Jane (Lily Newmark), Jo (Buckley), Sarah (Ruby Bentall) and Sue (Alexa Davies). “You get the world you deserve and if you don’t fight, you deserve the world you get,” flame-haired Jo scolds Sally. They plan a high-profile protest outside the 1970 Miss World beauty pageant organised by Eric Morley (Rhys Ifans) and wife Julia (Keeley Hawes).

Sally suggests the activists could buy tickets to the show, infiltrate the audience and disrupt the live TV broadcast with flour bombs and football rattles. The women engineer their audacious plan as comedian Bob Hope (Greg Kinnear) arrives in London to host the pageant, accompanied by his long-suffering wife, Dolores (Lesley Manville). Meanwhile, Miss Grenada Jennifer Hosten (Mbatha-Raw) nervously prepares to make her island proud against bookies’ favourite Miss Sweden Marjorie Johansson (Clara Rosager), Miss United States Sandra Wolsfeld (Suki Waterhouse) and Pearl Jansen (Loreece Harrison), the first black competitor from Apartheid-era South Africa.

Misbehaviour never threatens to embrace the disorderly conduct or minxiness teased by the title. Lowthorpe’s film serenely follows a path of least resistance to shoot at sitting ducks of male chauvinism, represented on screen in broad strokes by Ifans and Kinnear. Gentle laughs bookmark a crowd-pleasing dramatisation of real-life triumphs, emboldened by resolute performances from an impressive ensemble of homegrown talent.

– Sam Cannon

 


London Cinemas Showing Misbehaviour


From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August

Crouch End Picturehouse

Fri/Sat/Mon/Wed/Thu 16:45; Sun 16:30; Tue 16:00

Gate Picturehouse, Notting Hill

Sat/Mon 17:00; Tue 20:00

Greenwich Picturehouse

Fri/Mon/Tue 13:00; Sat 18:20; Sun 11:20; Wed 13:20

Stratford East Picturehouse

Fri/Sat/Tue/Wed 18:30; Mon 14:00

From: Friday 14th August
To: Thursday 20th August

No cinema infomation at the moment

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Misbehaviour


From: Friday 7th August
To: Thursday 13th August

Alhambra Cinema

Fri/Mon/Thu 13:30; Wed 19:30

Arts Picturehouse

Fri/Mon 15:30; Sun 15:20; Tue 19:10; Thu 15:50

Ashford Picturehouse

Fri/Mon-Thu 18:30; Sat 16:15 18:45; Sun 12:30 16:15

Bromley Picturehouse

Fri 14:30; Sat 18:00; Sun 18:30; Mon 15:00; Tue 15:30

Cinema City Picturehouse

Fri 19:50; Sun 19:45; Tue 17:20

City Screen Picturehouse

Fri/Sat 17:20; Sun 17:10; Wed 19:50

Exeter Picturehouse

Fri 16:15; Sat 13:30; Sun 16:30

Harbour Lights Picturehouse

Fri 12:00; Sat 15:15; Mon 14:30

Phoenix Picturehouse

Fri 16:15; Sat 20:00; Sun 13:30; Mon/Tue 16:30; Wed 16:00

Regal Picturehouse

Sat 15:20; Sun 19:20; Tue 18:50

The Dukes

Fri/Tue/Thu 12:30 (Thu) 19:30; Wed 16:00

From: Friday 14th August
To: Thursday 20th August

No cinema infomation at the moment