All I Want To Do Is Convince You To See ‘Widows’

Movie reviews seem so 2014. Criticism is so passé. You like what you like and you don’t need me to tell you what to think about a film, right?

Okay, so how about I don’t do that.

Instead, all I want to do is convince you to go see Widows.

Widows is the latest from Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen, and it is stacked to the brim with capital A actors. Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Ervio, Colin Farrell, Carrie Coon, Daniel Kaluuya and Michelle Rodriguez.

The screenplay, based on a 1985 ITV series of the same name, was written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn. It’s produced by the same team who produced The King’s Speech, Shame and 12 Years a Slave.

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All of that is intimidating, right? Like the dreaded Oscar bait hangs around its neck making it too stacked for you to really enjoy it, or worse -- it could be a slow drama that’ll make you feel bad about your life.


Widows movie oscars Viola Davis Elizabeth Debicki, Jacki Weaver
Debicki, Davis, Rodriguez and Erivo round out a massive ensemble cast. Image: Twentieth Century Fox.

Widows is a truly gripping thriller that follows a group of women who are forced to attempt to pull off a heist in order to pay off a gang leader threatening them following the deaths of their husbands who -- you guessed it -- died while trying to pull off a heist.

Set in Chicago, the film is violent, it’s dark, it’s tense and it has a few thrills, spills, twists AND turns that make it one of the strongest movie offerings of the year.

What McQueen has achieved is the perfect union between incredible Oscar bait and a brilliant dramatic thriller, combining a chilling story with his gorgeous, thoughtful direction and Sean Bobbitt’s incredible cinematography.

The film utilises the incredible performances of the likes of Kaluuya, Neeson, Farrell and Coon -- but the key cast, the four mains, are where McQueen really finds his muses.

Truthfully, it’s difficult to even conjure up a BAD performance delivered by Viola Davis, but she leads Widows with such power. It also feels like for the first time a director knows what to do with the brilliant Elizabeth Debicki. She’s always been good, but here McQueen is able to explore just how good she is, her ability to play a character that flits between fragility, comedy and helplessness.

Widows movie oscars Viola Davis Elizabeth Debicki, Jacki Weaver
Debicki and Weaver in 'Widows'. Image: Twentieth Century Fox.

Cynthia Ervio, in just the act of running for a bus or hitting a punching bag, packs such a wallop of ferocity. Rounded out by Rodriguez whose usual energy is softened -- showing a depth a step outside her Fast & Furious-esque typecasting.

One of the biggest struggles I have when it comes to movies is recommending a film I know both my parents will like.

Widows exists in that tiny overlapping sliver of the Venn diagram of my parents’ interests. The folks who birthed me who agree The Greatest Showman was brilliant, but can very rarely find films they’re both interested in seeing.

Widows has just enough drama, just enough bleakness, violence and twists -- but it’s also a deeply human story, one that’s never boring. It’s not wanky, I’d tell my mum and dad.

So here’s the thing, I think Widows is one of the best movies of the year, and I truly want to know what more people think about it. So this isn't me trying to convince you either way of its merits -- of which it has many -- but rather, just letting you know you should go see it.

Conveniently Widows is in cinemas across Australia from today.

Featured image: Twentieth Century Fox.