Women Talking

Women Talking ★★★½

I feel like for the past few years there's always been a huge Oscar contender that is just an adaptation of a stage play shot essentially in one location, and every year, it feels just slightly underwhelming. I'm thinking The Father in 2020 and Mass in 2021. Women Talking is this year's version of those two films, and it is the closest I came to loving one of these kinds of films. It was so close. But fuck. I couldn't get past the whack-ass color grading. Like, I got used to it after awhile, but it still kind of stuck out, unfortunately. Polley's directing is a bit stiff at times, similar to The Father and Mass where it just felt like the one-location nature of the film made the movie feel very uncinematic at times.

I wanted to get these complaints out of the way first, because despite the issues I had with it, this was genuinely moving at times. I'm somebody who generally prioritizes cinematography over writing, and I do find myself tuning out dialogue a lot during films. However, the writing/dialogue in this film was truly riveting. Deeply moving exploration of trauma and more importantly, healing from it. Every time an actor started speaking I was like, alright damn, she's the highlight of the movie. Polley actually got some of the best actresses working today to be in this film and they were all putting in 110% here. The monologues, however blunt they are, do a great job of giving us the perspective of each character and why they favor a certain decision over the other. And that score, man, what an amazing score!

One of the best scenes in this film is the scene where a truck pulls in and does a census calculation of the town the main characters live in. The film does such a great job of establishing the setting and the living environment of these characters, and I kept debating with my girlfriend when this film takes place (for the record, we both thought this was pre-1940s). Imagine the shock when the truck dude starts stating that he's doing the 2010 census calculation.

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