MRS MINIVER: Classic Film Fest
King’s Theatre’s Classic Film Fest continues with MRS. MINIVER, set in 1942 WWII Britain.
“Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Seventy-five years before that became a political battle cry for women rising up against harassment, cruelty, and abuse while asserting their own place at the leadership table in a time of uncertainty, a leading six Academy Awards went to a movie that celebrated a woman doing the same.
Mrs. Miniver is from another age, crafted with another set of standards and expectations, released just as the world was going through the upheaval of another world war and long predating the women’s rights movement that would come decades after. Still, the melodrama about an ordinary woman standing up to do her part against a looming threat serves the same inspiring role in 2018 as it did when it won Best Picture in 1943.
It offers hope. A sense that fighting back comes with a cost, but surrendering has an even steeper price. William Churchill famously claimed Mrs. Miniver was fortification for the Allied spirit, and today it’s still a reminder that even though we often make our stand as individuals, we are not alone.
Greer Garson won Best Actress for playing the title character, a middle-class British mother whose eldest son is training to be a fighter pilot while two much younger siblings remain at home. Her husband, played by Walter Pidgeon (nominated for Best Actor), ventures off in his boat to join the civilian rescue effort of troops surrounded at Dunkirk.
Although she never leaves the home front, the battle comes to her: Mrs. Miniver finds a wounded German pilot in the countryside and has a terrifying encounter with him as he lays out the threat of thousands of men like him tearing apart her country, bomb by bomb. For all his fury and boasts, he’s no match for this valiant housewife.
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