Oh Do Shut Up! 10 Classic British Kitchen Sink Dramas

9. Ladybird Ladybird (1994)

ladybird Just to prove that social realism/kitchen sink dramas were not only confined to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, Ken Loach, the biggest voice in the movement, supplied this extraordinary kitchen sink drama in the mid 1990s. Another docu-drama a la Cathy Come Home, Ladybird Ladybird is an examination of one woman's battle with social services. Maggie has a terrible habit of bouncing from one dreadful relationship to the next. She has four children by four different men. One night, she leaves them alone and a fire breaks out - drawing the attention of the authorities. This foolish act means she has her children removed by social services. Attempts to get them back fail. Maggie meets her great love - Jorge - an expatriate from Latin America. He is an unusual partner for Maggie in that he doesn't beat her up. They start a family but social services intervene and take the children away. There is a huge battle ahead for Maggie and Jorge to restore their family. I rented this film many moons ago and put it on the telly in the communal TV room of my hall of residence. I had about five complaints from residents complaining about the ghastly screaming. Shrieking, hysterics and histrionics are the flavour of the day in this film with Crissy Rock practically having kittens in her performance as Maggie. Sometimes because of her hysteria I wonder if social services were correct in removing her kids but it is evident that she loves them and is desperate to make a new family life with Jorge. People can change. She made a terrible error of judgement leaving her kids alone but she seems to have found security and stability with Jorge. Social services are obviously the big, mean baddie in the film, and the portrayal of a mother, bereft of her children is agonising no matter how flaky she may be.
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My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!