All female led films are at the forefront of cinema right now, after the well received Oceans 8 earlier this year, continiuing in this tradition is 20th Century Fox completely slaying in films this year with Steve McQueen’s Widows. The film is led by Viola Davis and was written by Gillian Flynn, author of the incredible Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. Yeah, you know you are in good hands with this mix! The film never fails to disappoint with an interesting premise, outstanding performances and direction delivering one of the best films of 2018 just before the Christmas season.
Veronica (Viola Davis) must face the after math of the death of her husband Harry (Liam Neeson) and plans he leaves her to complete a heist to ensure she has enough money to live. To pull this off she recruits Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Jacki Weaver). To top it off they also have to pay off a gang of thugs who are being controlled by the man.
The cast is one of the strongest thing about this film, they are diverse and fiercely fantastic in their roles. Davis is definitely the standout with how she handles her grief and the lengths she knows she has to go to to be free. Debicki is entertaining as a white trash yankee, far from the Aussie girl we know. Rodriguez surprises as she doesn’t play the hollow afction supporting character she has been lumped with for so many years, and it is extremely refreshing to see her in a completely different genre. I don’t often use the phrase Oscar winning peformances, but all 3 of these roles could be serious contenders and I really find myself surprised to say that, particularly about Rodriguez.
The direction from McQueen delivers some of his best work. You may remember McQueen from the Oscar winning 12 Years A Slave, is definitely giving us strong messages in this. In particular one scene that traverses through a low socio economic area with Colin Farrell’s character in a limo transitioning into leafy green suburbia. The angle of the camera and the dialogue are deliberate and are effective. The film starts out as a pretty simple revenge story but expertly evolves into a well observed look at the state of the world today. There are times where its subtle and then not so subtle and the way it plays out is spectacular to watch on screen.
Widows is the biggest surprise of the year. 20th Century Fox have given us some of the best films of the year with Bohemain Rhapsody, Bad Times At The El Royale and now Widows. The film not only delivers an incredible story and premise but is held up by outstanding performances and some of the best direction and writing seen on screen this year. Make sure this is the movie you see this week!
Widows is playing in cinemas now.
Review by Alaisdair “Leithal” Leith