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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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by Susan Granger

As a first-time solo director, Joel Coen takes a sparse, stylized look at one of Shakespeare’s most compelling plays. Filming in austere black-and-white, he presents an abstract physical world that’s filled with deep, geometric shadows, sharp angles and bleak walls, focusing on an ambitious middle-aged couple, determined to usurp political power in medieval Scotland.

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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by T. J. Callahan

Director Joel Coen goes solo as helmer for the first time with a stripped down version of Shakespeare in The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring his Oscar winning wife, Frances McDormand, and fellow Oscar winner, Denzel Washington as the Lady and Lord of the castle. The film was shot in just 36 days — in much the same way the Bard might have done it with all of the action filmed completely on a sound stage — but Coen was still able to fully convey the bleak tension and disquiet of the times.

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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by Diane Carson

Joel Coen has breathed new life into the Scottish play in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Of course we know the story of the ambitious, heinous Lord Macbeth who kills to be kind and of Lady Macbeth’s encouragement, all in the service of their own demons and ultimate defeat, so surprising to them. Birnham Wood will come to Dunsinane and “none of woman born/Shall harm Macbeth,” but that does not include Macduff “untimely ripped from his mother’s womb.”

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