Women Talking - Review (London Film Festival 2022)
An Act of Female Imagination. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Sarah Polley.
A group of women in an isolated religious colony struggle to reconcile their faith with a string of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.
Releases in UK Cinemas: February 10th 2023
Drained of colour, Sarah Polley's Woman Talking is a thought-provoking and anger-inducing drama that brings a group of women together as they bravely debate the next chapter of their very existence.
A purposely tough watch sensitively written by Polley brings some of today's best female on-screen talent together as they share experiences and opinions on why they should leave or fight for their small community after they have been repeatedly assaulted by the men to the point of submission.
Claire Foy's rage, Jessie Buckley's anguish, Rooney Mara's vulnerability - every member of the cast brings something different to the table as they spend the large majority of the film going back and forth trying to decide on a shared outcome. The only main male cast member, perhaps the only member they can trust, Ben Whishaw gives a devastating performance as he is trapped in the middle, wanting the best for the women but knowing the personal loss that the decision will cause him.
The cast's delivery of this strong dialogue is by far the film's biggest strength. Though it's a strenuous watch not only for its direct subject matter but its slow pace as you fear they may be no end in sight to the character's struggles.
An important and essential watch that brings you into its claustrophobic setting, holding you tight, forcing you to listen and partake in the central debate itself - no decision will be easy but which one has the brightest future?