Review by James Lindorf
Best known for starring in the comedic period piece “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Rachel Brosnahan is skipping ahead a couple decades for the 1970s set crime drama “I’m Your Woman.” Brosnahan stars as Jean, the bored housewife to mid-level thug Eddie (Bill Heck), and spends most of her time lounging in the sun and making barely passable meals. Eddie comes home one day to present Jean with a baby, the way someone might unveil a new appliance or perhaps a puppy. Jean’s life is thrown into a disorienting spin with Eddie’s unexpected gift. When he betrays his partners, Jean is forced to take the baby on the run after. “I’m Your Woman” was released in a limited number of theaters on December 4th and will be available to everyone on December 11th through Amazon’s Prime Video service.
It is a well-worn trope that the wives in crime movies are all quickly forgotten and typically serve as trophies or as the inspiration behind the mobster’s “good” side. There are some exceptions, like 2019’s “The Kitchen,” where four women seek to replace but outdo their criminal husbands. “I’m Your Woman,” directed by Julia Hart, based on a script she wrote with her husband and producer Jordan Horowitz (La La Land), takes you on an even more unlikely journey. Focusing directly on the typically sidelined character and how the actions of others turn her life upside down. It is surprising that focusing on Jean doesn’t actually turn her into a person of action.
Yes, Jean is the central figure who has to survive the danger Eddie has brought down on her. However, that doesn’t mean she is going to drive the plot. Most of the movie is Jean waiting for someone to come save her or explain what is going on. Being left in the dark like Jean can be a great source of tension. Being left in the dark with no end in sight would be incredibly frustrating. Since the audience is in the same place as Jean, the real danger of that anger being aimed at the film itself is real. Jean may be taking control of her own agency towards the film’s climax, but it may be to little too late for some viewers.
While the plot and pacing are lacking, the film is carried by two things. First is its superb performances from Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Arinze Kene. The second is how it immerses you in the 1970s. The team responsible for the costuming and set decorating deserve a big hand for their part in helping Hart create this beautifully crafted thriller that is as sophisticated as it is brutal.
Genre: Drama, Mystery and Thriller
Original Language: English
Director: Julia Hart
Producer: Rachel Brosnahan, Jordan Horowitz
Writer: Julia Hart, Jordan Horowitz
Release Date (Theaters): December 4th, 2020 Limited
Release Date (Streaming): December 11th, 2020
Production Co: Big Indie Pictures, Scrap Paper Pictures, Original Headquarters
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