Funny Cow

Funny Cow

Adrian Shergold (2017)

98min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
At first glance, Funny Cow may seem like a light-hearted, crowd-pleasing comedy. In reality, however, it is a bruising domestic drama that goes to some dark places, telling the story of a defiant, working-class woman who endures a life stained by sexism and abuse. Set in northern England during the 1970s and 80s, it follows Maxine Peake's title character - she's never called anything else - as she pursues a career as a stand-up comedian. Trouble is her husband (played by scriptwriter Tony Pitts) is a violent, controlling bully, and everyone keeps telling her that women can't do comedy. As she attempts to prove them all wrong, the story jumps between different periods in her life, so much so that it occasionally feels a bit messy. The stand-up sequences are mildly amusing at best, though you should be prepared for the sort of bigoted, unreconstructed humour that was all too prevalent at the time. However, the dramatic scenes are surprisingly effective (including a harrowing suicide sequence) and Peake is excellent.

Cast & Crew

"Funny Cow" Maxine Peake
Angus Paddy Considine
Bob Tony Pitts
"Funny Cow's" mum Lindsey Coulson
Ventriloquist Vic Reeves
Danny Kevin Eldon
"Funny Calf's" mum Christine Bottomley
"Funny Calf's" dad / older Mike Stephen Graham
Lenny Alun Armstrong
"Funny Calf" (young "Funny Cow" Macy Shackleton
Cinematographer Tony Slater Ling
Director Adrian Shergold
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 20 Apr 2018