After a bright and breezy opening, we come to the family pressures (embodied by Hawkins's husband, Daniel Mays), the internal divisions (Geraldine James wants to tend to her shellshocked husband, while Jaime Winstone wants to be a model), and the unlikely ally (Rosamund Pike, the plant manager's upper-crust wife), before we arrive at the big, emotive speech that saves the day. In fact, almost every scene finishes with a speech which seems designed to win a round of applause. And the Swinging Sixties period details - beehives, Biba, Berni Inns and Blue Nun - seem likewise to be lifted from other films rather than real life. In some scenes, Austin Powers must have been just off-camera.
It's still a chirpy, optimistic comedy. Hawkins is much more human than the screenplay allows, and there's the incidental pleasure of seeing Miranda Richardson as Barbara Castle and John Sessions doing a Harold Wilson impression. It's also fairly radical for a contemporary film to be so squarely on the side of strikers. But Made In Dagenham is as much of a production-line creation as the Cortinas which the heroines are being underpaid to assemble. Surely a film about some plucky underdogs beating the odds shouldn't feel as calculated as a Hollywood blockbuster.