Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Woman In The Window Review: Stay In And Watch This Film

Release date: May 14, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by Joe Wright
Screenplay by Tracy Letts
Starring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeanine Serralles, Mariah Bozeman, and Julianne Moore

Anna Fox (Amy Adams) is an agoraphobic child psychologist who finds herself keeping tabs on the picture perfect family across the street through the windows of her New York City brownstone. Her life is turned upside down when she inadvertently witnesses a brutal crime. Based on the best-selling novel adapted by Tracy Letts.

The Woman in the Window is an acting tour de force with some serious star power behind it.  Amy Adams is the clear headliner in this film and she really brings the drama to this complicated character.  She has to be strong, vulnerable, unstable, and unwavering in this role as a shut in who sees more than she can say.  But on top of Amy Adams, you have some stellar co-stars for her in Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Julianne Moore. They all come to this film in full force and this leads to some very dramatic instances.  At times, The Woman in the Window feels like an adaptation of a play rather than a novel because you have such well done drama in a confined space. 

But the main co-star of The Woman in the Window is the house that the film is set in.  It is an amazing setting, with a classic and grandiose feel.  The house that Anna lives in is as much a character as any of the actors, with a dated but timeless style and bold colors, on top of nooks and crannies for uncertainty to creep in.  And the filmmakers use the house to great avail with some interesting camera work to follow Anna throughout floors and rooms.  This is especially pronounced when Anna climbs or descends the grand staircase, with the camera tracking the entire time.

The Woman in the Window paints a complicated picture where you question everything that Anna sees and hears.  But this also hurts the film as the movie makes you constantly question what is going on.  It uses cuts in the camera and planned perspective to make you unsure if what you are seeing is real or imagined.  But this also leads to an unsatisfying conclusion when everything is revealed to you.  The film sets up a nuanced, complicated scenario that unravels when everything is explained.  Additionally, because of the shut in nature of the movie, it progresses very slowly despite its relatively modest run time.  It leads to a lot of monologues with Anna, or feigned monologues, and less action.  

The Woman in the Window is a dramatic tour de force, with an all-star cast and a wonderful setting that will make you question what you see and hear but not your decision to stay in and stream this!

Rent it.

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The Woman in the Window is available on Netflix on May 14, 2021.

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