Friday, August 6, 2021

Movie Review: ‘The Woman in the Window’ keeps you guessing until very end

By Matt Pascarella

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes

Rated: R

“The Woman in the Window” is based on a novel by A.J. Finn and had me going back and forth and back and forth asking myself “what’s really happening here?” I had put off seeing this for a while and wish I hadn’t because it was very good; I consider it a decent thriller. What’s real and what is fake? Is it all in Anna’s mind or is it something more?

This movie is very reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” but doesn’t go exactly the same way. This Netflix original movie stars Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wyatt Russell, and Brian Tyree Henry.

Anna Fox (Adams) is separated from her husband for reasons unknown and has one child when we first meet her. She is agoraphobic – unable to go outside – and spends all her time in her home. She has very little human interaction, with the exception of her tenant, David (Russell).

To pass the time, she spies on the neighbors in the various buildings around her home; she even discusses them in a session with an in-home psychiatrist. When a new family moves in across the street, they seem friendly enough at first, when 15-year-old Ethan (Hechinger) brings a gift from his mom to Anna. Later on, Anna meets Ethan’s mom, Jane (Moore).

Here’s where the story begins to unravel. When Anna suspects that Jane is in trouble, she makes a few 911 calls in an attempt to save her. Alistair Russell (Oldman) even comes over to shout at Anna and tell her to stay away, but not before a scared Ethan tells Anna his father isn’t a bad man, he’s just stressed.

The further and further I got into this movie, the more I thought everyone might be a suspect for the incident in question. After a photo of her sleeping at 2 a.m. is emailed to Anna from an anonymous account, Anna is convinced someone has been in her home. However, she is trying out some new medication, so is her medicine messing with her reality? Or is it something else?

I wasn’t on the edge-of-my-seat for most of this movie, but I was very interested. What is up with Anna? What am I not being told? I was suspicious of Jane Russell and Alistair from the start. I felt I was led to believe Jane was more in danger than she might be. There seemed to be a lot of focus on her. As it turned out I was both right and wrong.

I found this to be a relatively fast-paced movie with the third act dragging only a little. I tried the entire movie to figure out what was happening and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

I thought this was a dark and gripping tale of possible mistaken identity, anxiety and confusion. If you are a fan of thrillers or suspense movies, this “Rear Window” -like story is definitely a solid movie I enjoyed.

Two cats up. <

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