Misbehaviour ★★★

The Queen’s Gambit ★★★★★

Screening in the current British Film Festival and opening commercially  on 26 November, Misbehaviouris one of a small upsurge in films celebrating the women’s movement of the 1970s , including the Helen Reddy biography, I Am Woman, now screening on Stan.

Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour

For my money the best of these to date was one of the earliest, 2016’s Franco-Belgian La Belle Saison (Summertime), which captured a feeling of self-discovery, the infectious sense of a rebellious caper underway, and didn’t waste time preaching to the choir.

Misbehaviourstars Keira Knightley as Sally Alexander, a real participant in a protest against the 1970 Miss World contest. Director Philippa Lowthorpe also goes for the ‘personal politics as liberating fun’ angle, at least some of the time. But while the film is energetic, often amusing and accurate about the era’s often alarming prejudices,  it also gets entangled in didacticism and self-consciousness as it tries to square its vexing circle – that the contestants are also women expressing their free will and wanting to gain something out of the...