WOMEN TALKING – Review by Diane Carson

Both intimate and expansive in exploring weighty ideas, Women Talking lingers in its intellectual engagement, never cynical or dismissive, ever provocative and stimulating. Sarah Polley has crafted one of the best films of the decade, never mind of the year.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 21, 2022: WOMEN TALKING

Morality, autonomy, agency, and community intersect in writer/director Sarah Polley‘s absorbing drama Women Talking. Literary in its pedigree — it’s adapted from Canadian author Miriam Toews’ same-named 2018 novel — and play-like in its simplicity of setting and scope, the thought-provoking film explores what happens when a group of women in a conservative, isolated religious colony must make a decision that will affect all of their lives forever.

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Polley, McDormand, Gardener and Toews Talk WOMEN TALKING – Leslie Combemale reports

Writer/director Sarah Polley’s new film Women Talking has received nearly universal acclaim from critics. It’s pretty remarkable that a film based on such horrible abuse can have moments of joy and humor, but that was baked into the novel by Miriam Toews, on which the screenplay is based. In advance of the film’s release, Toews, writer/director Sarah Polley, Frances McDormand (co-star of the movie and one of its producers), and Dede Gardner, president of Plan B, got together for a spirited discussion and virtual Q&A about Women Talking. Those taking part were asked about the process of interpreting the true story and how it took shape.

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WOMEN TALKING – Review by Liz Whittemore

Sarah Polley’s cinema adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel Women Talking translates with astonishing power. A push and pull between faith and feminism, the story centers on three generations of Mennonite women who re trying to come to terms with the sexual and physical violence they suffer within their small community. After years of sweeping the assaults under the rug in fear of the community’s patriarchal dominance and tradition, the women convene, in secret, to discuss their fate and that of their female compatriotes.

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WOMEN TALKING – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Those who enjoy ensemble dramas will likely appreciate filmmaker Sarah Polley’s Women Talking – especially those who support the #MeToo movement and who will gladly listen to some talented ladies who have a huge decision to make. In 2010, the women of a community who have had enough must make a decision about leaving their isolated Mennonite colony that allows the men to drug and rape the women while bloodily beating them in the night, initially blaming an animal like a goat or Satan or attributing the physical assaults as acts of female imagination.

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WOMEN TALKING – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The women are talking about whether they should forgive, fight or leave the men who have been systematically drugging and raping them. The men who are their neighbors, their husbands, their fathers. The film is based on Miriam Toews’ novel, which is loosely based on true events that took place in a Mennonite community in Bolivia, where more than 100 women were drugged with livestock anesthetic and sexually assaulted in their beds. The only reason the eight women in the movie get to actually talk at all is because the men are gone. They were arrested – FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY!

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WOMEN TALKING (TIFF 2022) – Review by Cate Marquis

In Sarah Polley’s searing ensemble, there are indeed women talking but it is what they are talking about and who they are that grips us from the start. The subject these conservative Mennonite women gathered in a barn are talking about is whether to forgive the men. For what, we don’t know at first but it is gradually revealed as something most would find unforgivable.

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A VERY BRITISH SCANDAL – Review by Susan Granger

Based on a true story, A Very British Scandal delves into the notorious sex scandal that riveted Britain in 1963. It revolves around arrogant, ambitious Margaret Whigham, born in Scotland to a self-made Scottish textiles millionaire who moved the family to New York when she was 14. After several highly publicized romances during her London debutante season and a disastrous first marriage that ended in divorce, scheming socialite Margaret (Claire Foy) married Ian Campbell (Paul Bettany), Duke of Argyll, in 1951. Already unhappy in his second marriage, dissolute Ian was intrigued not only by Margaret’s beauty but also by her generous dowry.

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THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN – Review by Susan Granger

While Academy voters are weighing Oscar votes for his performance in The Power of the Dog, Benedict Cumberbatch made another 2021 film that somehow slid under the radar. Narrated by Olivia Colman, this story revolves around British artist Louis Wain (1860-1939) who became famous for his brightly colored drawings of anthropomorphized cats. He was also an eccentric who believed electricity could transform everyday life.

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THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN – Review by Diane Carson

That director Will Sharpe establishes a spirited, often amusing approach to Louis Wain’s life adds to the entertainment of his roller coaster fortunes without minimizing the hardships he encountered: his adored wife Emily dying young of breast cancer, his sister Marie suffering from schizophrenia, nightmares of drowning, coping with underemployment and social scandal while struggling to lift his mother and five unmarried sisters out of increasingly impoverished circumstances, failing to copyright his images, and his escalating mental illness.

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