Misbehaviour: Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley smash Seventies sexism

Review: The true story of the 1970 Miss World contest is mortifying viewing

Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour. Photograph:  Pathe

Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour. Photograph: Pathe

A crowd-pleasing dramatisation of the Women’s Liberation Movement’s entertaining disruption of the 1970 Miss World contest, Misbehaviour pitches a mismatched group of fed-up women against Bob Hope (Greg Kinnear), the BBC, and Eric Morley (Rhys Ifans, having a ball) who founded the tacky British-based meat market alongside his wife Julia (Keeley Hawes). It’s just a great story, you wonder why nobody thought to make a movie before.

Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley) is a history student who, at home, is scolded by her mum for not being womanly enough and at university is scolded for her “bit niche” proposed dissertation on women’s role in the labour movement. Jessie Buckley is Jo Robinson, a thrilling, leafleting powerhouse. While Jo and Sally scheme with other feminist activists, across town there are suspect dealings at the Commonwealth Club, as Grenada’s prime minister Eric Gairy is recruited on to the judging panel.

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