‘Made in Dagenham’ rolls off the American Region A locked Blu-ray production line with a very atmospheric 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The look of the film, courtesy of John De Borman’s lighting and camerawork has not been lost in the transfer. Through effective filtration and some toning down of the colour scheme, the film has a very authentic 1960’s feel. The use of a fine waft of smoke in the air on interiors conveys the hot British summer atmosphere effectively. Skin tones are spot on, with the pale pink faces looking strikingly different to the usual Hollywood tan we see so often on our screens. Contrast is slightly tweaked down to bring us the overall impression wanted by the director, but blacks remain black. Film grain doesn’t leap out at you, yet the image is never clinical – retaining a strong filmic quality with sharpness to match. To sum it up in a few words, the film looks the part!
The audio on ‘Made in Dagenham’ comes in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround flavour and you may well think that in a heavily dialogue driven piece there would be little use for the surrounds. Well, you’d be wrong. In the machine shop, the sound of the whirring sewing machines is all around you – placing you in the centre of the activity. Also, when Sally Hawkins takes refuge from the rain in Rosamund Pike’s car the sound of the rain battering off the windscreen and roof is so enveloping. They had to post sync this scene too as the noise of the rain was too much on the original recording. While it could never be considered to be in the realms of a blockbuster movie in terms of surround effects (and why should it?), the little and often use makes it more worthwhile.
There’s little to fault the dialogue on as it is clean and crisp, coming mostly from the centre channel although I did feel that it was fighting with the music now and again, causing me to tune my ears in to what was being said. The main stereo pair give some real oomph to the 1960’s music tracks used at various points in the timeline. Generally, a very nice sound mix.
Director’s Commentary - Nigel Cole flies solo here and starts off by thanking anyone who’s listening. He sounds tired as he recorded this during his promotional work for the film. We hear that the movie was shot in a former washing machine factory in Wales in just 6 weeks. He keeps our interest with intelligent anecdotes and a likeable sense of humour. He clearly has great enthusiasm for the story as well as respect for the cast who he directed to ‘keep it real’. He explains the pressures of being a director in a very down to earth manner. A really fascinating comm. track.
The Making of ‘Made in Dagenham’ (SD, 13 mins) - Producer Stephen Woolley kicks off by telling us how he heard of the story on Radio 4 while driving home. Director Nigel Cole outlines the struggle for equal pay and the cast describe their individual roles. Movie clips flesh out the interviews. You get the feeling that they all really care about this story.
Deleted scenes (SD, 8 mins) - A collection of 9 deleted scenes which are mostly of a short duration and don’t really add anything to the story except for the one where Barbara Castle breaks the news of the outcome to the women – but this would have stolen the thunder of the scene where the information is communicated to the Press, so you can understand why it was cut.
Outtakes (SD, 2 mins) - Nothing special here, just the usual fluffs.
Trailer (SD, 2 mins) - A nicely edited trailer allows us to see how the film was sold to cinema audiences.
The very recent ‘Made in Dagenham’ walks out on American Region A locked Blu-ray with a convincing 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The 1960’s look translates well with a slightly muted colour palette helping the atmospheric lighting and pale British skin tones. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio ensures we catch most of the dialogue while the surrounds kick in to place us in the midst of the machinists work room and the main stereo pair feed us the period music tracks. An interesting director’s commentary from Nigel Cole, a ‘making of’ doco, deleted scenes, outtakes and a trailer make up the extras.
Based on the true story of a group of women Ford workers who went on strike for equal pay back in 1968, the film boasts great performances from Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins and a whole host of excellent British character actors. A rousing, involving tale and one of the most enjoyable films of the year.
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