Riveting Riffs Logo One The Woman in the Window - Film Review
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The film The Woman in the Window, which in many ways obviously takes its cues from the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window (1954), which starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly has three stars, Amy Adams as psychologist Ana Fox who suffers from agoraphobia, cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and director Joe Wright. Tracy Letts’ screenplay is based on the novel by A.J. Finn, but we are sticking with our premise that this had to be inspired by Rear Window, because the similarities of the basic plot are too similar to think otherwise. We do however want to point out that Letts takes this storyline down a far different road than Rear Window, with many twists and turns.

The Hitchcock film had James Stewart confined to his apartment due to a broken leg, so he spends much of his time staring through the windows of apartments across from his own. In the suspense filled thriller, Stewart’s character. L.B “Jeff” Jeffries witnesses a murder. In The Woman in the Window Ana Fox is trapped in her apartment by her mental illness and she too becomes acquainted with her neighbors by looking out her window and into theirs. Like Stewart’s character, Amy Adams’ character witnesses a murder. That is all you are going to get from us concerning the plot, of either film, so we do not spoil them for you.

One word about both films, before we move on, if you have never seen Rear Window, you should find it and watch it, it received four Academy Award nominations and James Stewart and Grace Kelly were outstanding. If you are confused about who Grace Kelly is and why you may not have heard of her, she gave up a marvelous acting career to become Princess Grace of Monaco. Likewise, you should take time to watch The Woman in the Window, now screening on Netflix, because Amy Adams is deserving of an Academy Award for her performance.

Delbonnel uses tight, close camera shots to create fear, more distant panning cameras to create a sense of isolation and paranoia in Ana Fox and to provide the perception of a large house. Gary Oldman is sinister as Alistair Russell, but in truth the fear his character instills has more to do with Amy Adams’ excellent acting. Julianne Moore and Jennifer Jason Leigh share a character and if we tell you more than that it would serve as a spoiler.

The supporting cast consists of Fred Hechinger as Ethan Russell and although he is central to the plot, we find that the combination of the acting and character development is lacking. On the other hand, Wyatt Russell as David, whose character drifts in and out of the story has a commanding presence when he is in front of the camera. The same can be said for actor Brian Tyree Henry only his character Detective Little is more lowkey, which lends itself to a more subtle approach to acting. Henry is an Emmy and Tony Award nominee and apparently one of the busiest actors right now with four films in post-production and one more that was just completed.

Lighting and music are used to create effect to create moods of solitude, fear, sorrow, anxiety, panic and madness. Just as the lighting utilizes many shades, colors and shadows, Danny Elfman’s compositions and music supervision add to the many emotional layers as Amy Fox slips in and out varying degrees of reality, paranoia and hallucinations.

There is some violence in this film, but it is not gratuitous and surprisingly for a film of this nature there are not many scenes like this and nor are they lengthy. This is definitely not a film for children, but other than that we would provide no other warning. If thrillers are your genre, then we would recommend The Woman in the Window. As we said at the top Amy Adams performance is Academy Award worthy.

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This review by Joe Montague  published June 27th, 2021 is protected by copyright © and is the property of Riveting Riffs Magazine All Rights Reserved.  All photos are the the property of the producers unless otherwise noted and all  are protected by copyright © All Rights Reserved. This interview may not be reproduced in print or on the internet or through any other means without the written permission of Riveting Riffs Magazine.