The Woman in the Window: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Woman in the Window: Movie Review

Even with its beautiful cinematography and heavy-handed cast, "The Woman in the Window" fails to be a satisfying psychological thriller. Central to its failure was the lack of cohesion and non-existent character development. Various narrative elements in the film just didn't jive and mix well together and there's this aloofness throughout its running time that made this a predictable slog to watch.
Due to an incident, Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams) has been confined to her home as she is suffering from agoraphobia - or the fear where escape might be difficult. A child psychologist, she spends most of her time observing her neighbors across the street and one of her latest neighbors are the Russells. From the get-go, Anna has a bad feeling about them and her fears are confirmed when their son Ethan (Fred Hechinger) visits her and the boy is showing a lot of distress towards his father Alistair (Gary Oldman). By chance she also meets Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) on Halloween night who also details her husband's jealous temperament. Anna is convinced that Alistair is an abusive husband and father. One night Anna hears screams coming from the Russells house and sees Jane stabbed. She calls the police but when they arrive, they find no one murdered. In fact, Alistair and Ethan both corroborate that the real Jane Russell (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is still alive and different from the one Anna met. Who is telling the truth and did Anna just imagine the other Jane Russell due to her mental state and medications?
While watching "The Woman in the Window", there was this feeling that the film was forcing things to be extra mysterious than they should have been. The story and the characters within it progress in a very uneven and unnatural pace and we were left completely lost and uninterested with most of what it had to offer. In fact, the film was weird that it felt slow and rushed at the same time. The story progresses at a snail's pace while characters were developed in a very rapid way. One scene a character might be a good neighbor and the next scene he or she might be instantly abusive. Worse, there are little to no surprises within the film's narrative and most audiences could easily guess its most shocking unveils by the time "The Woman in the Window" decides to reveal it all. Those that caught us off guard were insignificant fluff. The only saving graces for the film would be its wonderful cinematography, Amy Adams' performance, and great set design that suited the story well. But at the end of the day, these only further highlight the potential that was ultimately lost and makes the whole conundrum even worse.
Rating: 1 and a half reels






Why you should watch it:
- at least Amy Adams had a powerful performance as a agoraphobic psychologist

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the narrative and characters are a complete mess
- very predictable reveals made this unsatisfying as a psychological thriller

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