Dumplin’ (2018)

“I’m not the Joan of Arc of fat girls”
Netflix 1 Hr 50 The plus-size, teenage daughter of a former beauty queen signs up for her mum’s pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps, revolutionising the pageant and their small Texas town.

The Good

The cast is incredible. Rising star Danielle Macdonald is incredible as protagonist and revolutionary, Willowdean. Having seen Macdonald in the equally brilliant Patti Cake$ I knew the film was in safe hands, but I didn’t expect her to become a role model for me. Jennifer Anniston is going from strength to strength with her role choices. While the romantic comedies during her time on Friends suited her well, she was made for these grittier performances. Rounding out the cast and adding depth the plot that looks at the lack of diversity within beauty pageants is the ever amazing Bex Taylor-Klaus as the alternative Hannah. Bex brings with her the confidence and cool personality that make me miss Scream: The TV Show. I love that the addition of Bex shows that there are exclusions beyond body shape in the world of Miss Teen. I also adored that her androgynous appearance is not commented upon in any way. It’s what I’ve been waiting for; androgyny not identifying someone as belonging to a particular label.

The Bad

The bad is that this film didn’t get a theatrical release. This film needs to be watched by all; it’s message is one of strength. With such negative films finding their way onto Netflix recently, it’s good to see one that promotes a positive attitude to the diversity of women and the beauty each and every one of them has.

The Ugly (tears)

The film hits all the right notes for tears central. The story deals with grief, self esteem and an uplifting hope that brings a tear to your eye. The charm is found in it’s sincerity; something which is difficult to achieve when the subject focuses on beauty pageants. 

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