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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Maybe I've got a lot to be sad about"
Ken Loach films always feel real, and as this is based on a true story the poignancy is enhanced and you can't help but feel that this is a fairly honest portrayal of Maggie - the mother whose instabilities lead to her lose her children.

The film starts with an introduction, the beginnings of a new relationship between Maggie and Jorge as they meet at a pub...
Published on 28 July 2011 by @GeekZilla9000

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A dark film
Even for Loach, this is a dark film which looks at the experiences of a mother whose children are repeatedly removed from her and taken into care.

It's not easy to like the central figure, Maggie, who, at the stage when we first meet her has four different children by four different fathers. She meets the decent and caring figure of Jorge, a Paraguayan, at...
Published 6 months ago by Mike K


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Maybe I've got a lot to be sad about", 28 July 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
Ken Loach films always feel real, and as this is based on a true story the poignancy is enhanced and you can't help but feel that this is a fairly honest portrayal of Maggie - the mother whose instabilities lead to her lose her children.

The film starts with an introduction, the beginnings of a new relationship between Maggie and Jorge as they meet at a pub karaoke. Sensing her sadness he asks about her life and the film makes good use of flashbacks to ensure that we fully understand the situation she now finds herself in. Thinking back to her childhood she remembers her father beating her mother as she stands crying. The image of a child stood sobbing as her mother is being kicked to the floor is incredibly disturbing, especially when it looks so real. History repeats itself when we see Maggie's ex-boyfriend punching her to the ground and shouting abuse as her own four children witness the attack, it's the first of many which lead to her moving to a refuge with the kids and eventual involvement by social services. The family is finally torn apart when a fire in the flat leaves her eldest son badly burnt after she leaves them locked in while she goes out.

There's a duality to Ladybird Ladybird; flashbacks make up a large portion of the film and tell Maggie's backstory in a fragmented but comprehensible way, we learn early on that her children were taken away, then we understand why, and then we see her current life with partner Jorge and witness the massive impact that her past has on their relationship. As with many other Loach films this has an unpolished look which gives it a `fly-on-the-wall' quality, it's perhaps fitting that a drama based on a true story looks more like a documentary. None of the roles feel acted, the characters aren't `performed' - they simply exist and it's no surprise that Crissy Rock won an award for bringing Maggie to life. The stories and situations here are so lifelike that I don't think I've ever watched a film and wanted so much for it to have a happy ending. The film is incredibly intense, the agony over having your children taken away is palpable through Maggie, you don't just watch her emotional meltdowns, you experience them too. For a film to interact emotively with the viewer on such a deep level is something few directors can manage, but Ken Loach does it time and time again by putting great effort into making his characters seem as though they could exist in real life. Of course this is based on a true story, but that doesn't make his craft any easier, we've all seen big studios create films based on true events and they still look like a glossy Hollywood version of the truth.

Interestingly, despite the incredibly emotional story, the politics and the social issues which are deeply woven into Ladybird Ladybird, it remains completely objective. Never judging Maggie and not demonising the local authorities, it simply lets the human stories unfold without guiding us into a pre-thought moral judgement. Just because Maggie is in many ways directly responsible for what happens at times, it makes her story no less tragic and we remain sympathetic, her background leaves her hopelessly Ill-prepared and without Jorge you suspect she may have succumbed to much worse, much earlier.

In a nutshell: Ken Loach, the master of verisimilitude oversees a film which is emotionally draining for all the right reasons and contains a performance from Crissy Rock which is quite frankly one of the best I've ever seen. Never less than utterly convincing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's like watching a Pogues song., 19 Jun 2000
By A Customer
My fiance was compelled to watch this film in a law school class, & years later was compelled to look for it & watch it again. Ladybird Ladybird (fly away home, I guess) is an exhausting movie to watch: the violence & misery are relentless. It's as exhausting as listening to music by the Pogues; in fact, it's like watching a Pogues tune. A film like this could never be made in the USA; we USA'ers are too stupidly idealistic & naive. This should be must-see for social work students & social workers & maybe everyone in those so-called "helping professions!"
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Painful and unrelenting, 12 Jun 2000
By A Customer
British director Ken Loach's 1993 film is so painful and unrelenting that it's nearly unwatcheable, but this is a credit to him and the warts -and-all screenplay by Rona Munro. It tells the tragic story of Maggie (Crissy Rock), a working class mother victimised by the Social Services child welfare who take her children from her. She meets a refugee, Jorge (Vladimir Vega) and he manages to bring some happiness to her life. Loach approaches the film like a documentary and even though we are told it is based on a true story, the culmination of drama is almost unbelievable. This approach applies to Rock as well. We never see her "acting" or strike a false note and she isn't afraid to show or edit Maggie's self-destructive behaviour. The image that stayed with me was the final one of Maggie and Jorge's hands clinging to one another. Not for the faint-hearted or those on Government benefits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crissy Rock At Her Best!, 31 July 2011
By 
ReviewBlog51 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
Crissy Rock gave the performance of her life in this gritty Ken Loach directed movie from 1994.

'Ladybird Ladybird' is based on a true story of a woman's seemingly endless fight with Social Services over the care of her children.

The movie's main character is Maggie (Crissy Rock), a single parent born and bread in Liverpool with four children, all of whom were to different fathers. Maggie has a history of getting into bad relationships. Her ex-boyfriend Simon (Ray Winstone) violently abused her causing her to run away; but the social services, concerned about her children after a home fire occurred when Maggie was away at the pub, resulting in one of the children becoming seriously injured, took them away from her and put them into foster care. When Maggie meets a gentle refugee called Jorge (Vladimir Vega), she feels that she might finally have a chance of happiness, the couple try for a baby, only for Maggie to be devastated by the Social Services once more.

This is a really touching film, a harrowing story of one woman's fight to win back her babies despite the odds. I regard this as one of Ken Loach's greatest movies and as for Crissy Rock's award-winning acting in it, I think Ken summed it up the best when he said: "I cannot think of anyone I have worked with who shines more brightly than Crissy Rock."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ladybird ladyird, 13 Jun 2011
By 
M. Peck "mpeck" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
watching this dvd again was just as great as the first time .it is a true story that reaches your heart as you realise these things really do happen, sad,heart breaking,but survival till the end, 100% great watching.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars doesnt get the credit it deserves, 7 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
It may not be very popular, but this film is fantastic. I brought it as it was cheap, and it seemed like a pretty good film, and i was right.

Set in the north, the films follows a mothers' struggle to keep hold of her kids, after herself being abused by her partner in the past. The acting is flawless, and being based on a true story, made it an eye-opening experience for the struggles that some people go through

A must see for any film student, or sociology student!
5/5
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD, 20 Nov 2009
By 
James Green (SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
I SAW THIS FILM YEARS AGO NOT REALISING IT WAS CRISSY ROCK WHO STARRED IN IT AND SAW CRISSY ROCK IN BENIDORM THIS YEAR, ITS A QUITE HEARTBREAKING TRUE STORY WITH BRILLIANT ACTING FROM CRISSY AND A YOUNG RAY WINSTONE
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see film for DipSW students, 9 Mar 2009
By 
Kevin Cocker (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen this film many years ago I decided to add it to my collection as it captures the times so very well and I am sure will serve any social sciences student well in their studies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
By 
C. Mwero "Radley fan" (Brecon S. Wales uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this film very very sad and heart rending
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, But Gruelling, 29 April 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
WARNING - might I suggest that anyone looking for some light-hearted, feelgood comedy steers well clear of Ken Loach's 1994 film, Ladybird Ladybird? Now I know some people might say that anything by Loach is always going to be tough going, but, though all the great man's films undoubtedly have a (political) 'point' (a reason for making them, if you like), most also feature great comedic moments (Kes, Riff-Raff and The Angels' Share, being good examples). Ladybird Ladybird's (real-life) tale of Crissy Rock's 'single' mother of four, Maggie, and her battle to keep her offspring from the clutches of Social Services, however, is almost entirely 'bare' of such lighter moments - in fact, the only film I can think of (off the top of my head) that is even 'tougher', and more traumatic, would be Gary Oldman's Nil By Mouth.

That is not to say, however, that Ladybird Ladybird is without merit - it is a powerful piece of film-making with a similar mood (of a protagonist fighting against the odds) to the likes of Raining Stones, My Name Is Joe and Sweet Sixteen - though, for me, not as good as these other Loach films. And its tale of parents 'fighting' the authorities to keep custody of their children is as relevant now as it was 20 years ago (or, indeed, 50 years ago, as Ladybird Ladybird can also be seen as something of an updating of Loach's ground-breaking Cathy Come Home). Here, Loach pitches Maggie's 'Scouse in exile in London' into a rather fanciful love affair with Vladimir Vega's 'good samaritan' and Paraguayan political activist, Jorge, (both delivering, in the main, impressive naturalistic performances) with Maggie holding out some hope that her 'new love' (and his calming influence) might provide a permanent respite from her past violent boyfriends (including Ray Winstone's Simon, oddly enough in a role that presages his part in Nil By Mouth).

Loach, as ever, provides some nicely perceptive detail on the social milieu of the times, as casual racism and black market employment are the order of the day, whilst his presentation of the calm, cold and calculating face of officialdom (whether it be social services, court officials or police) is starkly portrayed. Of course, at the film's emotional centre is Maggie's (increasingly paranoid) struggle, and some of the scenes of her receiving a beating from boyfriend Simon or grasping onto to her children are genuinely harrowing and shocking. Having said this, I must admit that I did find the hysteria eventually a little overdone, when perhaps a more subtle depiction might have been more effective.

Despite any reservations, however, Ladybird Ladybird remains a film well worth seeing and one that takes a particular standpoint of what is a complex, and still relevant, social issue (and one that is, sadly, often sensationalised and exploited by the media).
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Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD]
Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] by Ken Loach (DVD - 2008)
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