Watch one our top screen talents in action, supported by cast of household-name actors in this Loach-influenced gritty Brit film. Maxine Peake excels as Funny Cow, a stand-up comedian trying to break into the 70’s northern comedy circuit against fierce male resistance. What’s the motivation? She’s wants to exorcise some personal demons, using her experiences as stage material. As Sight&Sound puts it, ‘this is a drama about a comic rather than a comedy drama’, and that drama is a rollercoaster of a ride.
The film took 5 years to make and was shot on location in working men’s clubs in Bradford, Leeds and Saltaire. Its authenticity has been praised by comedian Bobby Ball. While Peake’s performance dominates – the part was specifically written for her – strong support is provided by a host of fine British character actors, including, as Funny Cow’s husband, the film’s screenwriter Tony Pitts. Cameo appearances are made by contemporary comedians such as Vic Reeves, John Bishop & Diane Morgan. The film’s haunting soundtrack is written by Richard Hawley, who also provided the soundtrack for British coming of age drama Pond Life.
‘It’s excruciating and inspiring to watch in equal measure, and Peake is terrific in the title role.’ Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard
“Good Lord this is strong … a wild and discombobulating cod biography that pings through the appropriate beats … but is really more about the force of personality of its central, compelling protagonist.” Kevin Maher, The Times