This BBC biopic tells the story of Barbara Windsor’s beginnings in theatre through to her career in the 1990s.
I never really watched Barbara Windsor in Eastenders but mostly became aware of her through her roles in the Carry On movies. This isn’t a straight up-biopic, however. It is done in a non-linear progression as a fifty something Barbara Windsor looks back on her career, accompanied by the ghost of her father, John Deeks (Nick Moran).
I know that Barbara Windsor has accrued the status of National Treasure, but personally I don’t think very much of her despite her sexbomb status often seen in the Carry On Films and others.
I am also vaguely aware that Barbara Windsor’s life story has already been made into a stage play. I feel as if this biopic likely drew heavily from this, because it felt very sketchy and episodic. The representation of her home life was interesting and seems to partly explain why she had some deep-seated daddy issues.
Key parts in Windsor’s life are probably skimmed over quite significantly, and for the most part this drama was filled with pathos. I didn’t feel particularly moved and I feel like I should have been. Jaime Winstone’s variation of Barbara Windsor felt like a massive caricature, which was just really distracting.
Ultimately, Windsor certainly had a turbulent past. I’m sure this biopic would probably appeal to diehard fans of the star, otherwise its little better than mediocre. One enjoyable part of the biopic, however, was Zoe Wanamaker as theatre director Joan Littlewood.
MY RATING: **.5 / *****