Misbehaviour (2020) (IMDB)

Philippa Lowthorpe’s ‘Misbehaviour’ (Film Flash)

Misbehaviour retells a bold tale of female empowerment in an expected place: the beauty pageant.

Linda Levitt: I usually bristle at films that boldly claim to be “based on a true story” because creative intervention results in audiences new to a story that ultimately confuses fact and fiction. Misbehaviour retells a bold tale of female empowerment in an expected place: the beauty pageant. There’s definitely some 1970s style conscious-raising underway here, and it looks like a delightful journey to follow along with the conspiracy to overthrow the patriarchy. [8/10]

J. R. Kinnard: We need more movies about civil disobedience! Philippa Lowthorpe’s Misbehavior promises a cheeky blend of social activism and personal empowerment. It’s the style of working-class comedy that Englanders do better than anyone, where an earnest message of cultural acceptance is delivered with slapstick instead of sanctimony. This merry band of rabblerousing feminists is reminiscent of The Full Monty, minus the Monty. One wonders how this celebration of second-wave feminism will play with 21st Century neo-feminists, who, ironically, have come to embrace the very sexual objectification that Misbehavior condemns. It should make for a fascinating (and fun) watch. [8/10]

Karen Zarker: A child in the ’60s and ’70s, I remember Miss America broadcast on our home television. Young and years away from the full-fledged feminist and the late-bloomer lesbian I would become, I was both perplexed by my mother’s sour face and disturbed by my father’s leering one. Still, our family of six watched this beauty pageant for many years. This trailer of Philippa Lowthorpe’s Misbehaviour, recently released in the UK and coming soon to the US, promises reconciliation of the unsophisticated but intensely curious child with the world-weary adult who has endured years of sexual harassment. I enjoy period pieces, and that will definitely be part of the draw. This drama of the 1970 Miss World Competition — the first such event to have black contestants and one of many such beauty contests to be disrupted by protesting feminists — may prove both frustrating and cathartic for women of a certain age. Let’s hope young woke people find it uncomfortably illuminating. [8/10]

SCORE: 8.0



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