“Widows” is a thrilling character piece

Photo by Merrick Morton - © 2018 - Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Widows is directed by Steve McQueen and stars Liam Nelson, Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki.

The film was released to rave reviews and critical praise. Widows currently sits at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and has a Metacrtic score of 84.

Widows tells the story of a group of Chicago women who are widowed after their husbands die on a heist. The women as thrust into the world of crime and robbery when a gangster comes by seeking the money stolen by the Widows’ husbands.

Widows is adapted from a British mini-series written by Lynda La Plante and starring Mercedes Ruehl, Brooke Shields and Rosie Perez.

Widows is an in-depth character study buried deep within the walls of a familiar heist film. The tropes in this film serve only as benchmarks to orient the viewer on their journey.

Widows does an excellent job of giving us an intimate look at the lives of four different women and balancing their perspectives and journeys throughout the film.

The relationships between the women becomes more interwoven in the narrative as more of the women come into contact with Viola Davis’ character, Veronica.


Photo by Merrick Morton – © 2018 – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

As Davis spirals further and further into crime and chaos so do her companions until the heist explodes in a crescendo of characterization.

The acting in this film is phenomenal. Viola Davis delivers a calm and powerful performance throughout the film.

Elizabeth Debicki’s performance is the tortured slow-burn that provides the feelings of change and progression for our characters.

Michelle Rodriguez turns in her usual character performance.However, in this film the family driven felon fits much better into the framework of the world.

The male heist crews brief screen-time leaves something to be desired. The standard character acting here seems forced, rushed, and type-cast.

In this film, see Liam Nelson starring as Hannibal and Jon Bernthal as Griff or Shane or Frank Castle with an odd night shift robbing banks.

Aside from the main cast the majority of support is provided by Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell, who play father and son politicians in the middle of a succession and re-election scandal.

Duvall plays the passing of the old guard well against Farrell’s more tempered and measured power-plays and racism.

Farrell and Duvall’s story-lines provide most of the backdrop of contemporary Chicago that differs from the original and adds to the American styling.

McQueen’s strengths as a director shine in the juxtaposition between the dark, harsh moments of grieving widows and the well-lit, glamorous upside of Chicago politicians.

Widows is a film of contradictions and juxtapositions that provide ample tension as the film progress through a story that would otherwise be slow and derivative.

The shots never cease to amaze and the camera moves with purpose, pride and conviction; The same manner as its characters.

This film is bound to garner awards nominations for McQueen and Davis, but may provide awards in cinematography and best picture.

Widows in a film designed for the more patient and thoughtful crime film fan. This film has more similarities to Chinatown than it does The Town.

 Action fans may be a bit disappointed by the lack of a payoff but movie goers looking for a week though out and balanced character study with some bite then Widows is excellent.

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I've lived in Arizona my whole life and love calling this dust bowl home. As a journalist I will strive to engage with the community and Involve myself in the campus. As a creative writing student I venture to represent repressed voices as honestly as possible. As your features editor I endeavor to give you nothing less than my best.

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