In 2010, women of an isolated religious community gathered together to decide their faith as well as their children’s.
The title accurately describes what the film delivers. Sarah Polley deserves every award she’s got and every award she eventually didn’t. As an actress, writer, and director, she has managed to stay on top of her game, and Women Talking took her once more to the Oscars. Other than herself, there is a lot of talent gathered in the film. Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, and the rest of the cast shine in front of the camera and deliver Oscar-worthy performances. For a single-location film, it is well-paced, and director of photography Luc Montpellier frames those performances in a spectacular manner. So, from a filmmaking point of view, it is a great achievement.
My objections lie with the narrative itself. I am not aware of the real story behind the script, but it felt like a feminist version of 12 Angry Men (1957). Sticking only to Miriam Toews and Polley’s script, here’s how I experienced it: All men are monsters, and all boys will end up probably like their fathers. The only exception is the man who records the events, August (the amazing Ben Whinshaw), who can be described as unopinionated, spineless, castrated, or mentally inept. According to the film, that is a good man!
On the other hand, all women are dynamic and highly opinionated, and even though they don’t know how to read or write, they are as eloquent, if not more, than August who has graduated from the University. You work out how someone who has never read a book in their life can argue in such depth and academic level philosophical and sociopolitical issues such as existentialism, history of religion, the difference between God and what people say about God, gender roles, behaviourism, and education. I praise the actresses for their eloquence, but if that is not head-scratching, I don’t know what is.
Ultimately, how much you are into these fields of study will define if you’re going to love it or loathe it. I did neither, but due to how arguments and counter-arguments are structured, I most certainly found it profound and intriguing.
As much as I love films, I live in the real world and get to see that men, women, and non-binary people have the capacity to physically and mentally heal and harm one another – no exceptions! Let’s just do more of the former rather than the latter.
Please, don’t forget to share, and subscribe. If you enjoy my work and dedication to films, please feel free to support me on https://www.patreon.com/kaygazpro. Any contribution is much appreciated and valued.
Solidarity for Ukraine 🇺🇦 🙏