“You’re not going to believe how badass the British were,” said Meryl Streep just before the lights went down at the premiere of her latest film, Suffragette, at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. “They seem so polite, but noooooo.” The movie highlights the bloody fight for equality in Britain in the early 20th Century. Streep slips into an accent once again for the small but mighty part of fugitive activist Emmeline Pankhurst. The actress and her daughter Mamie showed up to the premiere carrying clutches emblazoned “VOTES” and “SUFFRAGETTE.”
Mulligan plays the lead as laundress Maud, who joins the Suffragette movement in the U.K. The film is based on actual events. “I love this film so much,” she said, “I’m so excited and it’s taken these guys [the filmmakers] forever, it’s taken society 100 years to make this film.”
Suffragette ends with a list of countries and the years in which women in those countries were given the right to vote. The list ends with Saudi Arabia which just granted women the right to vote and run for office this year. The film is also particularly relevant given the 2016 presidential election. Premiere-goers stuck around for an English-themed reception that included Shepard’s pie, beef wellington sandwiches, and a lots of toasting to the film. Suffragette opens today.