United Artists Releasing | Release Date: December 23, 2022
6.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 21 Ratings
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5
Brent_MarchantDec 30, 2022
I’ll admit up front that this is likely going to be an unpopular review and a decidedly minority opinion, but I have to be honest about my feelings. Writer-director Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name may comeI’ll admit up front that this is likely going to be an unpopular review and a decidedly minority opinion, but I have to be honest about my feelings. Writer-director Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name may come from a place of noble intent, and it may feature one of the year’s finest acting ensembles, but its overall treatment is a major misfire. This fact-based story about a group of women from a conservative religious colony who meet to discuss how to respond to a series of sexual assaults in their community unfolds in a circular, wooden, stagey fashion that plays more like a university discussion group than a work of dramatic cinema. The ideas raised in these dialogues – ranging from activism to passivity to intergender relations to forgiveness to faith and salvation – are certainly lofty topics for consideration and deliberation, especially in terms of how they might be addressed in the forging of a new and better world. But their handling here is so forced and inauthentic that the entire exercise lacks believability and does little to foster a sense of concerted viewer engagement, a project that might have been more accurately titled "Women Endlessly Talking Things to Death." And, as the narrative drones on and on, it becomes tediously dull, with one of the characters herself astutely observing that “This is very, very boring” (well said, if a bit ironic). What’s more, a number of incidents and themes seemingly arise out of nowhere and aren’t always fully resolved, making one wonder why they were included in the first place. Even more disappointing is the fact that the film features so many fine portrayals by performers who are given such stilted material to work with, including Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Sheila McCarthy, Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand (whose appearance is more of an afterthought than anything else). Director Polley has certainly made a name for herself with such excellent past works as “Away From Her” (2006), but her reach has certainly exceeded her grasp with this undertaking, one that has much to say but ultimately says so little. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
dunnyoneDec 5, 2022
There were so many women talking in this film. Tall women, short women, women big and small. Every so often, a man talks but then it quickly swaps back to women talking. 10/10 would watch women speaking to each other again.
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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4
everettJan 10, 2023
If you haven't read the book or read about the premise, you'll be confused for quite some time re: what these women are talking about. This gives the film an airlessness that takes away the potential power of the dialogue and winds up feelingIf you haven't read the book or read about the premise, you'll be confused for quite some time re: what these women are talking about. This gives the film an airlessness that takes away the potential power of the dialogue and winds up feeling pretentious. Then, when we finally are given the backstory, we're also finding out that these women who are considering leaving will be leaving behind their own sons and/or other males that they love. The idea that this wouldn't have been a huge problem from the start winds up adding to the sense that this film is ultimately a stagey set-up with a premise that lacks credibility: A vehicle for some excellent performances that just don't feel earned by everything around them. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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1
praneelrajaDec 24, 2022
It’s not dumb. Women Talking even has some vigorous dialogue passages in the opening section, stemming from the aftermath of rape from the faceless men in the community. Hey, I went in cold and so in the opening minutes thought this was aIt’s not dumb. Women Talking even has some vigorous dialogue passages in the opening section, stemming from the aftermath of rape from the faceless men in the community. Hey, I went in cold and so in the opening minutes thought this was a look at the late 1800’s. Or early 1900’s. Then a bombshell came when the one male figure makes a reference to Italy fascism during World War II. Then we see another device in the form of a modern pick-up truck. I started to think for a second, is this some cerebral science fiction? Then I thought, this isn’t the Amish because they’re not dressed like Amish. Then I remember seeing “Silent Light” (2007) about the secular Mennonites in modern times. Ultimately, what this is, is an allegory about female migration. Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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7
j1trainDec 2, 2022
While it too often feels more like an intellectual and ethical exercise than a movie, it's still at times captivating. A powerful performance from Claire Foy.
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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7
JLuis_001Jan 2, 2023
This film is a debate, a sort of 12 Angry Men, but as its title says, now it's the women who have the voice, although its predicament is about something much more serious.

The structure of the film is entirely made to favor dialogue, so the
This film is a debate, a sort of 12 Angry Men, but as its title says, now it's the women who have the voice, although its predicament is about something much more serious.

The structure of the film is entirely made to favor dialogue, so the performances and the level of dialogue are the strong points of this story. And boy, does this film have a top-notch cast.

The weakness of this film lies in the fact that this very structure turns the whole narrative exercise into something too contrived to feel organic. Not that the nature of the debate is a bad thing, but at its core the cinematic essence of the debate feels more like an intellectual contrivance than a discussion in which the decisions made there will be seismic for all the women involved.
And in this case what happened in real life is what will give you the true ending of this story.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
TVJerryJan 23, 2023
The title pretty much sums it up. A group of women in an isolated religious colony (similar to the Mennonites) address sexual assaults from their men. Writer/director Sarah Polley has assembled a top shelf cast, including Rooney Mara, ClaireThe title pretty much sums it up. A group of women in an isolated religious colony (similar to the Mennonites) address sexual assaults from their men. Writer/director Sarah Polley has assembled a top shelf cast, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey and France McDormand. They bring power to the characters with their dramatic monologues and continuous debate. As the only man in the cast, Ben Wishaw creates some moving moments. Polley's direction is quietly cinematic with flourishes that add depth and texture (and a de-saturated look that renders it almost monochromatic). Even with their personal stories, there's not much dramatic impact to this extended deliberation. It's more about the arguments and performances than creating an effective emotional experience. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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7
moviemitch96Jan 12, 2023
In 2010, group of women in a small isolated Amish community convene in order to decide what course of action to take after they are attacked, raped, and impregnated by several men. They are faced with the decision of either remaining in theirIn 2010, group of women in a small isolated Amish community convene in order to decide what course of action to take after they are attacked, raped, and impregnated by several men. They are faced with the decision of either remaining in their village and fighting back and taking revenge against those who hurt them, or leaving in the hopes of a better and more hopeful future for themselves and their children. Directed by Sarah Polley and adapted from a novel of the same name, the film is a poignant, harrowing, and detailed look at gripping themes, moral crossroads, and humanity. While the film is a little slow moving at times, you won't get a much finer acting ensemble than the one on display here, with Rooney Mara leading the way in a brave and incredibly strong performance. Supporting players, such as Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, and even Frances McDormand in an all-too small role (also a producer on the film) provide even more dramatic weight with their headstrong performances. The cinematography/coloring is as bleak as the story and situation the characters find themselves in, and even the somber yet haunting musical score feels like a character of its own. However, while the film's message is undeniably powerful, its trajectory to the film's final moments also feels a bit predictable and anticlimactic in certain regards. Overall, a rather pedestrian approach at very heavy subject matter can't dampen the impact left by the ensemble's outstanding performances, cinematography, and score. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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