THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW | FILM REVIEW
Dir: Joe Wright (15, 101 mins)
The Woman In The Window would appear to have everything going for it. An A-list cast headed by Amy Adams (Arrival), screenplay by Tracy Letts, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) and based on a literary blockbuster by AJ Finn. This troubled production, however, manages to churn all of its classier elements into a tonal melee, full of misjudged moments that veer from creating hysteria to generating boredom.
Adams plays agoraphobe child psychologist Anna Fox, living alone, trapped in her New York apartment away from her estranged husband and daughter. She has a thinly-drawn lodger, David (Wyatt Russell), and new neighbours the Russells have just moved in opposite. She is visited by the son and the mother, Fred Hechinger and Julianne Moore, only to witness Moore’s violent death, complete with crass CGI shots of blood spraying the camera. The police are duly called, only for Adams to be told that no murder has taken place – whereupon she is introduced to Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is the real Mrs Russell, and her husband, a terrible scenery-chewing Gary Oldman. Is Adams cracking up?
Director Wright has decided to use as many stylistic flourishes as possible, all Dutch angles and heavily-lit agitated camera work as he tries to negotiate the leaden, often on-the-nose script. It’s a potboiler novel but it needed some nuance, yet the cast seem to have been instructed to overdo it whenever they can, with the exception of Julianne Moore’s cameo. Oldman in particular embraces the ham, whilst other characters are so broadly written and played that any plot twists are heavily signposted.
A violent climactic battle on a rooftop has a shockingly unnecessary touch of gore involving a fork before swirling into more Hitchcock/DePalma showoff shots which add nothing to the telling of the story. A disappointing, histrionic B-movie mess and a waste of the talent involved.
Out now via Netflix
words KEIRON SELF