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.
EXCLUSIVE: Shout! Studios has secured all North American distribution rights to Misbehavior, the Philippa Lowthorpe-directed beauty pageant drama starring Keira Knightley The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice, Gugu Mbatha-Raw The Morning Show, Belle, Jessie Buckley Judy, Chernobyl , Keeley Hawes Bodyguard, The Missing, Lesley Manville Phantom Thread, Another Year, Rhys Ifans The King's Man, Notting Hill, and Greg Kinnear Little Men, House of Cards. The Pathé International pic will get a theatrical day-and-date release sometime this year followed by a rollout across all major entertainment platforms.
Written by Rebecca Frayn and Gaby Chiappe, the film is based on a true story set in 1970 when the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by the US comedy legend, Bob Hope. It follows the newly-formed Women's Liberation Movement that 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, Jennifer Hosten – 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 by a crowd of angry women, and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.
“Misbehaviour radiates a joy all its own, and for a film about a long-forgotten seedling of the Women's Liberation Movement, there is an undeniable currency. The first-rate ensemble delivers an endearing, funny, “stand-up-and-cheer” experience that will leave audiences immensely satisfied and deeply grateful to the real-life heroes of this story,” said Shout's Vice President of Acquisitions Jordan Fields.
“The enthusiasm of Shout! for the film and their commercial ambition convinced us that they were the right home for us in North America,” added executive producer Cameron McCracken. “In the UK, the film has received 4-star reviews from publications as varied as the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Daily Express – it deserves to be seen by the widest possible audience.”
Suzanne Mackie and Sarah Jane Wheale produced the pic with executive producers Andy Harries and Rebecca Frayn of Left Bank Pictures, McCracken and Jenny Borgars of Pathé UK, Rose Garnett of BBC Films, Andrea Scarso of Ingenious Media, and Natascha Wharton of the BFI.
Fields brokered the rights deal with Marie-Laure Montironi and Amina Muneer.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: