Murder or Hallucination?
I hope Amy Adams wins an Oscar® soon. She’s already been nominated six times for her versatile acting talent in Junebug, Big Eyes, The Master, American Hustle, Vice and The Fighter. In my opinion, she should have won a golden statuette for her fearless performance in Hillbilly Elegy during 2020. Perhaps her role in The Woman in the Window will hit the jackpot this year. It’s another difficult turn as a troubled woman who seeks solace in drugs and alcohol.
Adams plays Anna Fox, a child psychologist suffering from agoraphobia. Anna fears going outside her house and even keeps the lighting at a minimum, which sometimes makes it hard for us to see what’s happening in her spooky abode. Her psychiatrist (Tracy Letts) visits Anna at home and sometimes has a conversation with her on the phone. The other person she talks with is her tenant (Wyatt Russell), who lives in her basement and does some handyman work around the house. Anna also befriends a teenage boy (Fred Hechinger) from a new family in the neighborhood.
Everything gets worse for Anna when this family moves close to her. A full-fledged mystery develops regarding whether or not a murder was committed by Alistair Russell (Gary Oldman), the teenager’s father. Anna claims to have witnessed this crime, but Detective Little (Brian Tyree Henry) finds it hard to believe someone with mental problems like hers. Plus, the woman she thought was killed is very much alive.
Agoraphobic stays inside.
It seems to her the place to hide
She mixes meds and booze each day
to make her troubles go away.
What does she do most of the time?
Watching neighbors might be her crime.
She sees abuse. What can she do?
She gets involved and risks ensue.
Amy Adams with a sad face
and baggy clothes looks a disgrace.
But that helps her with this hard part.
She nails the role -- and that’s pure art.
This dark movie is tough to see.
It’s filled with grief and misery.
But Amy Adams draws us in.
And murder takes a twisty spin.
Directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice) from Tracy Lett’s screenplay adaptation of A.J. Finn’s novel, The Woman in the Window ends up being confusing and nothing like Hitchcock’s more compelling Rear Window. However, a strong performance by Adams and a surprisingly enthusiastic -- but short -- appearance by Julianne Moore (Still Alice) make the film worth seeing. These two talented actresses share an important scene together. And they both seem completely genuine. Their characters are opposites who bond with each other. We can’t help wanting the best for each of them.
But, hey, this is a mystery. Be prepared for things to go downhill before anything good happens to poor Anna Fox.
(Released by Netflix and rated “R” by MPAA.)