The Woman in the Window | When a Movie Wants to be a Play for No Good Reason

This psychological thriller directed by Joe Wright (Pan, Anna Karenina) and starring Amy adams (SZJL) in the lead has had a long road to our screens. We were suppose to have seen this movie in October 2019, meaning it was delayed before COVID-19 hit us hard but said pandemic got this movie on Netflix. I’m very happy about that because I’ve been waiting. The cast they’ve got for this movie is nothing to sneeze at, Gary Oldman (Child 44), Anthony Mackie (TFTWS), Fred Hechinger (News of the World, Human Capital), Wyatt Russell (The Good Lord Bird), Brian Tyree Henry (Beale St, Into the Spiderverse), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Patrick Melrose, Annihilation), and Julianne Moore.
This movie comes from the mind of A.J. Finn who wrote the novel “The Woman in the Window” which is adapted here for the screen by actor and playwright Tracy Letts (Little Women, The Sinner).

Premise: The story centers around Anna Fox, an agoraphobic psychologist, used to distract herself by spying on her neighbors. She befriends one of them, a new neighbor across the street from her New York brownstone condo, only to witness a disturbing act of violence that’ll turn her own life upside down.

Review: Since the first trailer I felt like this movie seemed like a filmed theatre performance, and that was before I knew who penned that adaptation. It’s because of the sets, they look and very much feel like they were built on a stage; at no point did I feel or think that I was in a house. I thought it was an aesthetic choice but after watching the movie I don’t think it was.

This film looks like a theatre play that wants to be a movie, it could have been a good idea but the execution falls short. We have a lot tell and little show, the characters tell us more about the plot than the movie does. There a few jump cuts…weird visual that are supposed to illustrate her state of mind but they only make the movie look amateurish. Even the score seems to be trying too hard.

So the sets look fake, the pacing, the editing and the score are not helping but this movie has two saving graces, the cast and a great hook for a story. Amy Adam is almost holding this movie together by herself but she has great co-stars that prop this movie up as well. It would have been laughable if it was anyone other than a seasoned actrice in the lead. She makes the movie believable and watchable.

The Woman in the Window could have been done without the overwhelming details and surplus of foreshadowing that are in the book but this is not it. The premise and the cast’s performances was enough for me not to be disappointed with this missed opportunity. But don’t hesitate to let me know what you think, I’m curious.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

The source material is available for purchased in the links below:

The Woman in the window is available on The Book Depository and other book retailers near you.

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