is a suburban, 70s housewife with no cooking skills – barely managing
torn eggs and blackened toast – endlessly waiting for her thieving husband, Eddie (a
brief appearance by Bill Heck), to return. There’s nothing innocent about Eddie: leather
jacket, greased-back hair, looking like a wannabe Brando. Jean clearly loves
the fruits of his illegal labours, wearing posh gowns and wandering about a large
One day, Eddie arrives with a baby. No explanation why. Jean immediately takes to motherhood.
rest of the film unfolds like a better thriller’s happening elsewhere, as Eddie
suddenly goes missing and Jane goes on the run with the baby. It’s an inverted,
feministic structure: re-examining the wives/partners of male
protagonists, who’ve often been built as one-dimensional extensions
of their men. This road-less-travelled is intriguing and invigorating… well, at
She’s helped along by an old colleague of Eddie’s, Cal (Arinzé Kene) – a
Black guy trying/failing to be an emotionless bodyguard, struggling to blend into
a whitely suspicious environment. The
circumstances of Eddie’s disappearance exist in an uncertain vacuum, Jane only
gaining hints and hearsay as to what he’s done. Her obedient confusion, following and
stumbling around in the dark, forms much of the film’s tension. That, and taking
care of a baby.
despite the chance to show the possible layers beneath this convenient character-type, Hart and co-writer Jordan Horowitz don’t reach for much nuance
either. As Jean's driven to different locations, she’s told to stay put. And for
the most part, that’s exactly what she does. Her days repeat and repeat in the
same process, day after day, looking after the baby and barely sleeping. Heavy
waves of nothing.
When something finally does happen, initiated by unfamiliar
creaks and speeding cars, it’s all over quite quickly. All the thrills
belong to the movie you don’t see. Although Hart carefully captures that
anxiety of the unknown and that sense of female subjugation, I’m Your Woman
stretches that atmosphere so thin that it rips apart in the first hour.
would be somewhat forgivable if it were 90 minutes or under, but the film plods
along for two lethargic hours. And generally, Jean doesn’t take an
active role in her own story, Cal pushing and pulling her in the right directions.
Thankfully, the baby provides some exhaustive conflict, but that brilliant
dynamic isn’t utilised to its full potential. Hart and Horowitz don’t even see much
humour in the situation.
watching, this critic was reminded of the much-superior Steve McQueen movie Widows
– another inverted crime drama told from the wives’ perspectives. But whereas
those women take their husbands’ failed narratives to supply their own success,
Jean just waits and waits and waits for her man to come back. I’m
Your Woman holds some academic intrigue, but it’s direly executed.
I'm Your Woman is out now in cinemas and available on Amazon Prime from Friday 11 December
|What||I'm Your Woman, Amazon Prime review|
11 Dec 20 – 11 Dec 21, ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
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