I’M YOUR WOMAN – A Review by Cynthia Flores
To the legions of fans of the hit show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel get ready to see actress Rachel Brosnahan as you’ve never seen her before. She plays blonde-headed Jean in the gritty new film I’m Your Woman. It’s a tale of love, betrayal, and motherhood directed and co-written by Julia Hart.
The film is a study of what it takes for Jean to go from a defenseless, pampered girl to a woman that will fight to survive. When we first meet her, she is a bored, barren, suburban housewife in the 1970s. She’s married to Eddie (Bill Heck), who is a well-known thief, among other things. One day Eddie comes home with a baby for Jean to keep. Now they can be a real family. Jean no sooner names her little boy and starts getting used to the idea that this is her child when Eddie betrays his partners and goes on the run. Jean is left behind with the infant, a bag of cash, and forced to go on the run. Eddie’s old friend Cal (Arinzé Kene) is tasked with keeping them safe.
Cal whisks her away in the middle of the night to a safe house in a quiet, unassuming neighborhood with the one primary rule of not talking to anyone. She has never been on her own before. So now, with the baby to care for and only one phone number she can call if she needs help, she’s on edge. Jean is desperate and lonely as she waits for her husband to return. The isolation gets to her, so she breaks the main rule she was given and lets in her sympathetic neighbor Evelyn (Marceline Hugot) for company. But when Eddie’s assailants track her down, and a deadly gunfight ensues, she finds herself on the run again. After Cal mysteriously disappears, Jean finds a surprising ally and friend in his wife Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake). The two women team up and set out on a dangerous passage into the heart of Eddie’s criminal underworld to find Cal.
Writer/director Julia Hart has always had a passion for classic gritty crime dramas set in the 1970s. When asked why she wanted to make this kind of a female-centric take on the genre, she’s quoted as saying: “I love those movies in spite of the fact that none of the protagonists represent me,” she explains. “The stars are all men, mostly white men. And then you have all these formidable actresses playing very small roles: Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, Teresa Wright, Ali MacGraw, and then when the action gets going, they get kicked out of the movie because the men don’t think they can handle it.” She goes on to say, “Sure, it’s cool to watch the man go take care of business, but I just always found myself wanting to follow the woman. Where is she going? What’s going to happen to her? And since I never got to see that in those movies, I just decided to make that movie myself.”
I, for one, am glad Hart decided to take on the often looked-over stories of women married to the criminal underworld’s violent men. It’s finally time we get to see a crime drama, not relegate the women to just arm candy or simple asides. I’m Your Woman is an alluring period piece with lush cinematography by Bryce Fortner. Adding original music by Aska Matsumiya that will seep into your subconscious.
I give I’m Your Woman a 4-star rating. It shows what it takes for these two women to finally be able to claim their lives as their own. As they step out of the long shadows that their husbands cast.
Directed by: Julia Hart
Written by: Julia Hart / Jordan Horowitz
Selig Rating: 4 Stars
Running Time: 2hr
Drama / Crime
Limited Release: Inwood Theatre, The Grand Berry Theater December 11th and on Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinze Kene, with Frankie Faison, Bill Heck
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.