Women Talking

Women Talking (Sarah Polley, 2022) Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley; women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling a brutal reality with their faith

James Berardinelli tells the story:
Women Talking focuses on the decision facing a group of rape victims when it is learned that their attackers are going to make bail. Led by Agata (Judith Ivey), Greta (Sheila McCarthy), Ona (Rooney Mara), Salome (Claire Foy), and Mariche (Jessie Buckley), the women must decide how best to approach this event: remain subservient and accept the return of the men, stay and fight, or leave to found a new community. Entwined with the question of a woman’s second-class citizenship is the issue of salvation. Excommunication from the community represents not only a physical separation from those who remain but a spiritual severing from the path to heaven. This is a real concern for some of the women who would rather accept suffering in this life for the promise of something better to come. Much of the movie focuses on discussing the various pros and cons of staying vs. leaving. There’s a repetition to these arguments that may cause some viewers to tune out after a while. Reelviews.

Kenji Fujishima:
Rarely does Women Talking dare to challenge our assumptions about, say, the necessity of a matriarchal society over a patriarchal one. Instead, it takes such notions as a given, to flatter its target audience’s progressive bona fides. Richer characterizations might have given the film at least an appearance of engaging in a genuine dialectic regarding difficult notions about how to remake an oppressive society. But these characters, however energetically and colorfully inhabited by its cast, come off merely as glorified thesis positions. Slantmagazine.

See also: She Said: same, but better.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 26 January, 2023 | Now: 26 January, 2023