Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 40m
Set against the backdrop of working men’s clubs and the stand-up comedy circuit of the north of England, Funny Cow features a star turn from Maxine Peake, as a young woman taking on the unenviable task of winning over some particularly misogynistic audiences with her comedy.
As the name suggests, this film will certainly make you laugh, but it has plenty to say about the poverty of the 1970s north. Peake’s character, who we only ever hear called by her stage name, grows up in Rotherham, where she finds life is “too much and never enough at the same time.” We see her successful adulthood juxtaposed with her painful childhood — raised by an abusive father, leading to an abusive partner.
She finds solace in a distinctly more middle class lover in Angus (Paddy Considine) as her increasing confidence in comedy takes her further away from her old life. Peake’s stand-up routine is decidedly non-PC, and director Adrian Shergold takes us on a fascinating journey as she goes from hostile working men’s clubs, to sold out shows in a sparkling dress.
A wonderful and unique bit of British cinema.
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