Set against the backdrop of working men’s clubs and comedy circuit of the 70s and 80s Northern England, Funny Cow charts the rise to stardom of a female comedian (Maxine Peake, Shameless).as she stands up to a violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit.
If you think that modern comedy is still lacking in gender equality, then this tough, streetwise British film shows that it's also made giant strides since the in-your-face chauvinism of working men's clubs in decades past.
More a film about the power of laughter and how to transform pain into humour than a straight-up comedy, Funny Cow is a fitting showcase for Peake. So often dazzling on stage and television, she's hilarious and heart-breaking here. There's fine support too from cast-against-type Paddy Considine as her middle-class paramour and a swooning, melancholic soundtrack by Richard Hawley.
"Peake is hypnotically belligerent as an ambitious club performer trampling over prejudice and sticky carpets on the 1970s comedy circuit." The Guardian
Running Time: 1hr 43mins
BBFC Advice: 15
Director(s): Adrian Shergold
Country of Origin: UK
Year of release: 2017