Funny Cow


Funny Cow

Critics Consensus

Funny Cow rests almost entirely on Maxine Peake's performance -- which proves more than capable of shouldering the weight of this affecting period drama.



Total Count: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 104
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Movie Info

Maxine Peake gives a formidable performance as an aspiring female comedian standing up to a violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit. If you think that modern comedy is still lacking in gender equality, then this tough, streetwise British film shows that it's also made giant strides since the in-your-face chauvinism of working men's clubs in decades past. And yet, ill-treatment by men is something our eponymous heroine is grimly used to, from childhood beatings to an abusive husband (scriptwriter Tony Pitts, on terrifying form). 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.

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Critic Reviews for Funny Cow

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (5)

  • Funny Cow is unusual enough to hold attention, but nonetheless a misfire: incoherent, arty in the wrong ways and often bizarrely misjudged.

    Jul 20, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • This film is interested in the point where hate and humour meet. Its protagonist is a real cow. I loved her to bits.

    Apr 25, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a tough, passionate and compassionate account of survival at all costs...and a troubling portrait of an unsavoury element of national character that still very much exists.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • One of those intriguing but raggedy films that ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its promising parts ...

    Oct 23, 2017 | Full Review…
  • There is no moral, and in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, there is no hugging, no learning. There is just a hypnotically belligerent performance from [Maxine] Peake, whose anti-heroine explodes like a firework, burning herself to an ashy crisp.

    Oct 11, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's grim, and has bite. Unapologetically northern, Funny Cow authentically presents experiences of working-class life from post-war Britain (when a bathtub in the yard is a pool) through to the '70s.

    Feb 14, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Funny Cow

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