“Women Talking,” the final best picture review

“Women Talking,” the final best picture review

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Adapted from the novel by the same name, “Women Talking,” is nominated for two academy awards this year, best picture and best-adapted screenplay. This is not director Sarah Polley’s first adapted screenplay nomination as she was nominated previously in 2008 for “Away From Her.” The film follows the women of a religious colony as they plan their course of action. “Women Talking,” displays topics of rape, motherhood, female rage, religion, and the tribulations of being a woman.

“Women Talking,” captures exactly what the title describes. We watch as a group of women gather and speak of the colony’s future in a barn for the majority of the story. The hour and forty-five-minute film highlights atrocities at the hands of men that the women of the colony have faced. Powerful writing and acting specifically by Claire Foy show the pain the women have endured. A collected and inquisitive approach to their misfortune is displayed by the pleasant Rooney Mara. Men are absent for the entirety of the film with the exception of boys and the educated August played by Ben Whishaw. We understand why there’s an absence of men through August’s dialogue explaining boys can be taught better, enlightened ways and not the ways of abuse and power. For the grown men of the colony, it’s basically a lost cause. The exclusion of men who have attacked and disrespected the women of the colony is clever and appreciated.

Polley introduces the women’s abuse and trauma through quick flashbacks allowing the viewer to understand the need for them to leave or fight. The unsaturated, cold filter of the film emanates the dark, isolated feeling the women must have felt. The film also showed the love women carry through difficult times. 

I thought Polley showed powerful messages which are well-known but can often be forgotten. The story itself was simple with nothing much going on but the discourse of a plan. At times you wished for them to hurry and leave before something bad happened. I would watch this again just for the beautifully written dialogue and questions that were brought to the table. I don’t expect this to win adapted screenplay over “All Quiet on the Western Front,” or best picture but I would definitely recommend watching this film.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” and “Elvis,” are also nominated for best picture. I did not write individual reviews for these films but I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, “Top Gun: Maverick,” especially. The sequel to the 1986 Tom Cruise action film is a feel-good, exciting, and well-curated story that left me wanting to watch it all over again. Austin Butler in “Elvis,” was truly exceptional and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins best actor, although I’m really rooting for Brendan Fraser. The glitzy and exuberant style of director Baz Luhrmann fits perfectly with a biopic about The King. I did feel it was a bit long and don’t expect it to win best picture but it was surely an entertaining and touching film. All predictions will be confirmed or denied on Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m., as the 95th Academy Awards commence. Check back with NEWS10 for a recap of the Oscars.

House Ratings

“Women Talking:” 3.5/5

“Top Gun: Maverick:” 4/5

“Elvis:” 3.5/5

“Women Talking,” is available on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and YouTube. “Top Gun: Maverick” is available on MGM Plus, fuboTV, Paramount Plus, DirectTV, AppleTV, Google Play, YouTube, AMC on demand, Spectrum, and FlixFling. “Elvis,” can be seen on HBO Max, Vudu, Amazon, DirectTV, and AppleTV.