By: Amanda Guarragi
The Woman in the Window directed by Joe Wright is a psychological thriller, that has a very impressive cast, strong visuals and a twisted story. Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams) is agoraphobic and hasn’t stepped out of her home for a couple of months. She witnesses something she shouldn’t, while keeping tabs on the Russell family, the seemingly picture perfect clan that lives across the way. In a modern Hitchcockian style thriller, Dr. Anna Fox spies on this family by using her camera and actually inviting each of them into her home. It is an interesting story, with some pacing issues, but a strong performance from Amy Adams holds this together.
The one thing that really stood out was the cinematography. The visuals were strong and the camerawork surprised me at times. There was a fluidity in the movements, especially when framing Anna Fox and her descent into madness. The camera movements were sharp with every single sound that she heard. There was a distinct colour palette to show her loneliness and seclusion versus her actual reality within the apartment. It’s very subtle and you won’t clue in until the third act but it really is noticeable when the story unfolds.
The main issue with this film is the pacing. Yes, it’s supposed to be a slow burn and obviously a mystery, but it just did not flow in the way it is supposed to. Every time there was a strong scene filled with necessary information, to move the story forward, it just fizzled. There were quiet, awkward moments that didn’t really work and slowed everything down. When it did pick up, it was interesting because this cast brought the script to life in those heavy, emotional moments. The third act is executed quite nicely and you understand where Anna’s trauma and mental illness stems from. The editing and strong visuals, make the third act reveal beautiful to watch.
There are some really strong moments in this film but as a whole it just felt a bit empty at times. In all honesty, this could have worked better as a mini-series instead of a film. The depth of her character could have been analyzed more in order to appreciate this layered performance from Adams. The third act reveal was probably the best part because it felt separate from the obvious parallel to Rear Window. It is an interesting psychological thriller because of its strong cast, crisp visuals and satisfying ending. The Woman in the Window drops on Netflix tomorrow.