The story of the 1970 Miss World Competition gets the big-screen treatment with Misbehaviour, starring Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Greg Kinnear wearing a disturbing fake nose to play Bob Hope. The movie tells two different stories: that of feminist activist Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley) protesting the competition, and of Jennifer Hosten (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the first black woman to ever be crowned Miss World. Watch the Misbehaviour trailer below.
I’ll confess I had never heard of this true story before, but it certainly has potential. It’s confronting the story from several different angles, and if you don’t get too hung-up on Greg Kinnear’s weird fake nose, you might be in for something special. Here’s the synopsis:
In 1970, the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by US comedy legend, Bob Hope. At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show on the planet with over 100 million viewers. Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.
Per Wikipedia, “There was controversy before the contest began because the organizers had allowed two entries from South Africa, one black, one white. On the evening of the contest, a bomb exploded under a BBC outside broadcast van in an unsuccessful attempt by the Angry Brigade to prevent the contest from being televised. There were no injuries. The audience then had to enter the hall past noisy demonstrators who were penned behind barricades…During the evening there were protests by Women’s Liberation activists. They threw flour bombs during the event, momentarily alarming the host, Bob Hope. He was also heckled during the proceedings.”
The cast also includes Jessie Buckley, Lesley Manville, Keeley Hawes, Rhys Ifans, and Phyllis Logan. No US release date has been locked down yet, but Misbehaviour opens in the UK March 13, 2020.
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