Iron Jawed Angels
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Iron Jawed Angels (DVD)
Oscar-winner Hilary Swank stars in a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, telling the true story of how a pair of defiant and brilliant young activists took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.]]>
The fight for women's voting rights has rarely been given as dramatic a treatment as in Iron Jawed Angels. Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) and Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park) star as second-wave suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who led the final fight for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Though the movie sometimes tries too hard to avoid the stigma of a period piece (the soundtrack features electric guitars, Swank has a steamy moment in a bathtub, and the editing is jagged and flashy), the mounting energy of the fight--and the increasingly nasty opposition--gains real momentum when a wartime picket line leads to Paul, Burns, and their sisters-in-arms being arrested on trumped-up charges and imprisoned. The actors--including Julia Ormond (Smilla's Sense of Snow), Angelica Huston (Prizzi's Honor, The Grifters), and Brooke Smith (Vanya on 42nd Street)--give fervent, determined performances. --Bret FetzerSee all Editorial Reviews
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Call them Suffragists, call them Feminists, women who've fought for rights in our nation's history have often been portrayed as masculine, ball-busting bra-burners. This film does a beautiful job at depicting the beauty and intelligence of these modern, college-educated women, and isn't afraid to show them admiring fashion or worrying about how their hair looks. At the same time, it pays homage to the original Suffragists, including Carrie Chapman Catt (portrayed by Angelica Houston) who succeeded Susan B. Anthony as head of the National Woman Suffrage Association. The upbeat musical score pumps additional energy into the telling of these tireless women, willing to give everything for their cause. We, their descendents, owe them a debt of gratitude.
Hillary Clinton may be breaking the so-called glass ceiling in today's American politics; however, she has it EASY compared to Alice Paul and Lucy Burns and what it took to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club
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how much women went through for women to have the right to...Read more