Truth and Movies

I’m Your Woman

Review by Leila Latif @Leila_Latif

Directed by

Julia Hart

Starring

Arinzé Kene Marsha Stephanie Blake Rachel Brosnahan

Anticipation.

Mrs Maisel with a gun? Sure, why not.

Enjoyment.

A thrilling road trip to unconventional places.

In Retrospect.

Excited to see what both Brosnahan and Hart do next.

Rachel Brosnahan sheds her Mrs Maisel shtick in this compelling road movie about a woman on the run.

It’s easy to become typecast as an actor, to become so identified with a particular role that an audience cannot fully believe you as anything else. Rachel Brosnahan has received such lofty praise for her performance in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel that it could well be what defines her entire career. In Julia Hart’s I’m Your Woman, however, she goes completely against type, demonstrating the type of range that may yet untether her from her iconic television role.

Brosnahan plays Jean, a glamorous Valley of the Dolls-esque housewife resplendent in hot pink feather-trimmed loungewear and oversized sunglasses. The film opens with narration in her slow and jaded monotone: “Eddie and Jean met and fell in love. Eddie and Jean got married and bought a house. Eddie and Jean were going to have a kid but didn’t. So, every morning Eddie kisses Jean and leaves the house and Jean is alone.”

What follows is a solidly constructed Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole journey for Jean. Eddie brings home a baby for her to take care of, returns to his dodgy dealings and disappears. Jean, in the dead of night and without enough time to even pack a suitcase, is forced to go on the run with the baby and Cal (an enigmatic Arinzé Kene), though she is kept in the dark as to who or what she is running from.

The film is entirely told from Jean’s point of view and, like her, we are largely kept in the dark. Jean’s story feels like one thread in a far-reaching and violent chaos that, in its relentless brutality, catches many innocent bystanders in the crossfire. As a whole this is a film of subtle and subversive feminism, taking what could have been a minor two-dimensional gangster’s wife character, normally framed as either greedy, complicit or hysterical, and entirely centring the narrative around her.

This road movie has some lulls but is compelling for the most part, buoyed by a gorgeous ’70s aesthetic, a score of screeching strings and thundering piano keys and excellent supporting turns from Marsha Stephanie Blake, Frankie Faison and James McMenamin. Themes of race, motherhood and morality prevail, as Jean – like a fly trapped in a spider’s web – attempts to free herself only to become further entangled.

Published 30 Nov 2020

Tags: I’m Your Woman Julia Hart

Anticipation.

Mrs Maisel with a gun? Sure, why not.

Enjoyment.

A thrilling road trip to unconventional places.

In Retrospect.

Excited to see what both Brosnahan and Hart do next.

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