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'Women Talk' Review: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jesse Buckley Lead in Sarah Polley's Brilliant Drama

“Next is the act of women’s imagination”, declared on a card at the beginning of Women Talking. That’s an accurate description – the feature is writer-director Sarah Polley adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel, featuring women members of a Mennonite colony as center. But these opening remarks are also a mockery and a challenge: These women are sorting through their responses to years of deliberate sexual abuse, in which the male leaders of their sect insisted that the horrors they experienced belonged to the devil or the “wild female imagination” force”.

At the heart of Polly’s clever and compassionate film is the belief that in film and in life, words can become actions – for those who are disenfranchised , they can become revolutionary. The philosophical, sometimes even faith-based tendencies of women’s discussions can turn off audiences who don’t want to be there. For those who are ready to take the leap, the thoughtful and beautifully shot feature is a rewarding exploration of not only the character’s dilemma, but the existential issues any contemporary woman faces in a patriarchal setting.

Woman Talking

Bottom Line A well-crafted vision of anger and hope.

Telluride Film Festival
United Artists Releasing Production Company: Hear/Say Productions, Plan B

actor: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy , Jesse Buckley , Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Frances McDormand , Sheila McCarthy

Director and Screenwriter: Sarah Polley; adapted from Miriam Toews
Fiction Rated PG-, 1 hour


Tus 2019 The novel was inspired by horrific events in a Mennonite community in Bolivia, over the years Come, women are drugged and raped by a group of men in the colony. The book revolves around the deliberation of the women in the hayloft after they learn the truth about their beatings. Their discussions were filtered through the voice of one person they still trusted, and August School teachers were called upon to take notes for their meetings, since none of them had been taught to read or write. Ben Whishaw’s August is an exceptionally moving character in Polly’s interpretation, but the female voice drives the story without an intermediary, with a strong cast of newcomers and established talent.

The film was shot in widescreen by Luc Montpellier using a desaturated palette of sepia, blacks, greys and blues, with a visual scheme subtly crafted by Peter Cosco Design and clothing enhancements by Quita Alfred subtly express the wardrobe possibilities of women’s limited personalities in this unnamed remote country place.

To have a few days to forgive men who were arrested for rape – or expelled from the colony and thus deprived of their heavenly status – women voted for three Possible responses: do nothing, stay and fight, or leave. These are basic options for how to resolve any life crisis, but for those living this sheltered life, voting is a remarkable undertaking. Counting the votes is a stalemate between the latter two options, with women from two families selected to examine those options and make a decision. Bail was offered to those who were bailed, and the colony changed: the women were on their own. Putting themselves on a test they never imagined and realizing they were doing holy, life-changing work, they washed each other’s feet before they started talking. Soon, beliefs and temperaments clashed among eight people representing three generations, who gathered in a grass hut. The youngest of them, Autje (Kate Hallett), provides a judiciously used voice-over narration, heralding a future beyond this flashpoint. Autje and her best friend, the slightly older Neitje (Liv McNeil), braid each other, wander around, sigh back and forth, occasionally inserting a word or two of meanness and insight.

Thoughtful and happy, Ona (Rooney Mara), pregnant by an attack, envisions a society where women are educated and participate in community-shaping decisions; she Full of peace and idealism. Autje’s mother, Mariche (Jessie Buckley), lashes out at almost everyone with a ferocious belligerence with an unspoken vulnerability. Salome (Claire Foy), who has shown the courage to challenge the rules of masculinity by seeking treatment for her sick daughter outside the colony, expresses less anger than Mariche’s, which Foy bestows on the character. Maternal instinct and awareness of injustice. strength.

Teenage Mehar (Michelle MacLeod) suffers a panic attack and starts smoking after the attack. The two eldest women in the group, Agata and Greta, are perfectly performed by Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy, respectively. Women’s anger at men is an awakened, unexpressed resentment that unravels a lifetime; boys are another matter, with only a few pics of their youthful faces, Polly asks us to consider how innocent children grow up Great to be the kind of man who holds women back and is sometimes cruel to them.

Her script gives each protagonist a monologue. The film’s producer, Frances McDormand, who briefly appeared on screen, couldn’t imagine leaving the community. There is an untold story in the obvious knife-edge scar on her cheek; the way women embraced abuse is addressed, generation after generation, elsewhere in the story, touchingly. Not romance, who is the heartbreaker of this movie. As a former member of the colony, his family was exiled because his mother “questioned” the patriarchal limits of the community, and he was at times sullenly frustrated — “If I got married, I wouldn’t be myself,” Ono Told him they were married after he suggested it – he could barely utter a word.

The most fascinating aspect of this story is that we see these women far away from marriage and household chores (albeit with a glimpse into the spartan simplicity of their home). Once they gather in that hut, they focus on the big questions of self-determination and self-liberation, they ask each other basic questions, and Polly’s eloquent dialogue draws on source material and finds its own rhythm.

More important than who wants to stay and who wants to leave is that women’s interactions change the way each of them and the way they find harmony, sometimes literally , adding sound to restorative renditions of traditional hymns. In this case, “closer to my God” and quotes from the Bible can say something radical.

Soundtrack by Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker, Chernobyl) throughout the movie It’s a masterful blend of tradition and yearning, and the addition of Monkees’ “Daydream Believers” to enrich the Census taker’s sequence is a beautiful pop of surrealism.

The camera in Montpellier follows the girls of the colony as they frolic in the fields with a lyrical boyishness. He captures the inner light of women, and he and Polly combine women’s interactions with formal compositions, giving them a historic, enduring glow. From the open doorway of the grass hut, the world outside them is an impressionistic blur. What else could be good for those who have never been allowed to look at maps? Full credits

Venue: Telluride Film Festival

Publisher: United Artists Releasing/Orion Pictures
Production company: Hear/Say Productions, B Plan Actor: Rooney Marla, Claire Foy, Jesse Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Francis McDormand, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle MacLeod, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil, August Winter, Kira Golloyen, Sarah Brown, Vivienne Endicott-Douglas
Director and screenwriter: Sarah Polley
Based on a novel by Miriam Toews Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Frances McDormand
Executive Producers: Brad Pitt, Lynn Lucibello Brancatra, Emily Jade Foley

Director of Photography: Luc Montpellier

Production Designer: Peter Cosco
Costume Designer: Quita AlfredEditors: Christopher Donaldson, Roslyn Card Lo
Music: Hildur Guðnadóttir Casting Director: John Buchan , Jason Knight

Rated PG-, 1 hour13 minute THR Newsletter

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