Women Talking

Women Talking ★★★★½

We must leave because we cannot stay.

My first Sarah Polley film, and I’m immediately floored by her exhaustive understanding of emotional processes and the lengths minds must travel to uproot entrenched world views and trauma. Women Talking is brutally honest about the evils men do and the systemic subjugation of women in religious constructs ruled by said men. It is horrifying in glimpses. We see only what the women of this story have seen. By simply speaking and listening to one another, they unravel the fabric of their world, revealing the web of lies spun by conniving men desperate for control. Women Talking is a literal, descriptive title for the events in the film. It is also a blunt statement of the greatest fear of insecure men. Polley’s screenplay is sublime, thriving in subtlety and nuance. What is said is needed, and no word is wasted. Every performance is great, but Judith Ivey, Jessie Buckley, and Ben Winshaw especially shine here. This only played in theaters for one week where I live, and I missed it. Thankfully, it’s on Prime now. Don’t make this one of the Best Picture nominees you skip if you’re not a completionist like me.

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