For me, as an avid film person, for a lot of years, I never thought I would have gotten to where I am today within the world of being a ‘critic.’ A few weeks back, I covered the Nashville Film Festival. It was amazing, but today and over the next week, I am tackling one of the biggest festivals of the year, AFI Fest.
So I hope you enjoy this ride along with me as I cover films that range from Short Films to Documentaries to New Auteurs to World Cinema and so much more.
In this 1970s set crime drama, a woman is forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey.
Our film opens with Eddie (Bill Heck) handing Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) a baby, and while she asks the who, the what, the how, he doesn’t answer. We transition to a man showing up at her door, telling her to pack up their belongings and go.
Next, she has to go on the run and live motel to motel while stuff gets figured out and their next move. She finally gets settled into a house but is told to stay put and not move. Our first sign of intensity comes as Paul (De’Mauri Parks) has to take matters into his own hands and help Jean get out of a sticky situation.
Our pacing is a bit slow and methodical. I believe it was done on purpose, but I feel like certain moments early on as we are laying the groundwork, we could have had a little less dead space between the first and second acts.
Although, I will say that the slow and methodical pace worked for Jean’s development because we understood that she was clueless about a lot of what was going on in her life with her husband. So her transition from ignorant to a more stern understanding of what was going to happen needed to come at the pace we saw.
Speaking of Jean, who was played by Rachel Brosnahan, played Jean’s role to perfection. As I said about her ‘clueless’ nature that Jean had, we understood that because of Rachel and her mannerisms within the part. Combine her acting and the writing by Julia Hart, and it was a perfect match to further the advancement and our investment into Jean.
Transition into the third act, and the film picks up the pace in a huge way, which was expected within the way the film was layered. I will also say this leads to the film feeling a bit long in the tooth. The film clocks right at the 2-hour mark, and you feel every bit of that, and it’s solely on that first act and the drag of it.
Lastly, I want to credit the car chase scene’s shooting as it was layered with a dramatic approach with this beautiful pulsating score over the top of it. The sequences that follow are some perfectly shot moments that captivate you.
Julia Hart is going to be a brilliant director. She shoots with a fantastic color palette, carefully pans the camera in angles that enhance the viewing experience and the up-tempo closing of this film makes me yearn for her to do an action movie.
Rachel Brosnahan was magnificent, and the score was superb, and the cinematography was breathtaking. If only the film’s first hour were as good as the last thirty or we would be talking about one of the years best.
I’m Your Woman overcomes the slow start to excel to the finish line.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.