Directed by Adrian Shergold, 2017
Children running wild in the alleyways behind streets of terraced houses. Drink. Wife-beating. Child-beating. Swearing. Sex in the back of a Ford Anglia. Aspiration. Class. More drink.
Adrian Shergold‚Äôs story of a stand-up comedian and her thoroughly miserable milieu ticks all the gritty-northern-period-drama boxes, and yet it transcends clich√© in part thanks to its clever structure: the drama dances with the nimbleness of Billy Elliot from its heroine‚Äôs 1960s childhood to maturity and back again.
But what really distinguishes it is Maxine Peake, excellent as the irrepressible Funny Cow of the title. It‚Äôs her sense of mischief and fun that fuels her desire to overcome her bleak circumstances; the result is a film that‚Äôs grim but very funny.