Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The life of Mary Whitehouse, the British activist who fought the BBC over television decency standards, is explored in the latest installment in the Masterpiece Contemporary series.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Movie/Mini-Series
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    83
    The plot--based on a true story--drags, but Walters is a hoot as a prig who thinks she can stave off the swingin' '60s with a wagging finger.
  2. A lively, thought-provoking and often humorous quasi-biopic of a real-life crusader in which there are no angels, or devils either, just a nation in the midst of change for which not everyone is prepared.
  3. 80
    Brilliant acting propels this slight satire about Mary Whitehouse.
  4. Screenwriter Amanda Coe is to be credited not only for developing such rich characterizations, but also for the delicacy of the show's satiric point of view.
  5. Clearly, the creators of Filth (Amanda Coe, writer, Andy De Emmony, director) had their problems settling down to a comfortable tone for this figure who was, after all, famous entirely for her career on behalf of censorship. Julie Walters, who portrays her with grand and ebullient sympathy, shows evidence of no similar problems.
  6. Yet for all the gentle ridicule heaped on Walters' character in Filth, her Mary is closer to a three-dimensional figure than Whitehouse's nemesis, BBC head Sir Hugh Greene (Hugh Bonneville).
  7. 50
    Rather than balance, what you get from Filth is a gratingly smug superiority that mocks both sides while failing to make any point of its own.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. KevinC.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Great performances and a fair portrayal of the real concerns that traditionalists have in the on-going culture wars. Still a timely issue 50 Great performances and a fair portrayal of the real concerns that traditionalists have in the on-going culture wars. Still a timely issue 50 years on. Expand