Tough, streetwise British film, with Maxine Peake hilarious and heartbreaking as an aspiring female comedian trying to break into the comedy circuit of the 70s and 80s


Maxine Peake plays the gritty role of ‘Funny Cow’, a comedian who breaks through the glass ceiling of the all-male 1970s comedy circuit to rise to stardom. From her troubled childhood to her turbulent adult relationships, the Funny Cow uses the raw material of her life experiences to bring her unique style of comedy to the stage. A stand-up comedienne in an all-male world, she has to stand up to a violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit.

More a film about the power of laughter and how to transform pain into humour than a straight-up comedy, Funny Cow is a fitting showcase for Peake. So often dazzling on stage and television, she's hilarious and heart-breaking here. There's fine support too from cast-against-type Paddy Considine as her middle-class paramour and a swooning, melancholic soundtrack by Richard Hawley.

Funny Cow is both a love-letter to a bygone era and the defiant story of a woman who refuses to give up her dreams.

“a hypnotically belligerent performance from Peake, whose anti-heroine explodes like a firework” The Guardian

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