I saw this film twice, necessary to catch the easter eggs. The political is personal. The film is set in 2008, yet the much of the rhetoric is pure 2018. Family dynamics course the story. The title of the film details the power these women harness amidst their dire and emotional situations.
Elizabeth Debicki is astonishing in every scene she is in. Her character, Alice, is given the room to grieve and remove her pride to survive. Michelle Rodriguez is powerful as Linda. Cynthia Erivo is captivating as Belle. Viola Davis is ever sensational as Veronica. Jacki Weaver is stirring as Alice’s mother. Daniel Kaluuya is spell-binding and ruthless in his performance. Bryan Tyree Henry gives a solid performance for a character that is otherwise forgettable. Molly Kunz delivers a prolific monologue along with her performance as Siobhan, Jack’s assistant. Colin Farrell is strong as Jack, relatable to the loyalty he has to maintain in his family. Liam Neeson is suave and devastating as Harry, the masterful thief. Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Lucas Haas, Garret Dillahunt, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Coburn Goss, Jon Bernthal, Eric C. Lynch, Matt Walsh, Jon Michael Hill, Kevin O’Connor, Adepero Okuye and Tonray Ho carry a remarkable supporting cast.
Writers Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn form a solid script. There are a few loose plot ends. There were at least three scenes that could have removed and definitely one. I wish a lot was left to the imagination or used in the language to secure the story. The ensemble carries the script. Director Steve McQueen delivers masterful scenes where we listen to characters talk without them in focus, only inviting the audience to see so much. In a scene, Jack is yelling in the car and we see the shift between the poorer neighborhood he seeks to “serve” and the tony neighborhood he resides in, which was only a short distance. Chicago is a centerpiece. Costume Designer Jenny Egan crafted outfits tailored to each character, shown most with Veronica in her crisp suits and sleepwear. The ending of the film is satisfying heightened by tension. The response in the theater was electric in parts of the film. The score is rich, eclectic and sensual created by Hans Zimmer.
Olivia, Veronica’s dog, is another star of the film and does not die. I was stressed about the possibility of her dying while watching this film.