There are many things to love about Amazon’s newly released original film “I’m Your Woman”. One of them is the talented writer/director Julia Hart, who made two enjoyable films in the miserable 2020 – “I’m Your Woman” and Disney+ “Stargirl”. The other has to be Rachel Brosnahan, turns out, the marvelous Mrs. Maisel herself is still a true marvel even she’s not playing her Emmys-winning role.
Brosnahan plays Jean, a beautiful and lonely housewife who dressed in glamorous pink loungewear and sunglasses in the opening scene with her deadpan narration: “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.”
Here, the Eddie she mentioned is her criminal husband (played by Bill Heck). Jean solely knows he is a thief and doesn’t want to learn more. She has learned not to ask too many questions. At least Eddie’s criminal job has made her expensive clothes and big house affordable.
Later in the film, there’s a scene that obviously refers to the iconic ending of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” – one of Michael Corleone’s mafia members closes the door and leaves Kay, Corleone’s wife, outside of the family business. Countless ‘70s and ‘80s crime thriller had depicted women as outsiders, “I’m Your Woman” is clearly inspired by these films but director Hart this time turns her lens onto the other side of the door, exploring how a woman is dragged into a new reality of violence and death.
It’s a “rabbit hole” sort-of-journey for Jean. But before the journey calls, Eddie brings home a baby for her to take care of. He doesn’t explain where the baby comes from, and Jean doesn’t ask either. Without knowing anything, Jean starts to mother the boy and named him Harry (she just likes the name).
One night, Eddie’s colleague knocks on the door late and hands her a bag of cash, asking her to leave the house immediately with an armed man Cal (played by Arinzé Kene). Director Hart’s crime underworld is slow burn and gritty. Like Jean, audiences are also entirely kept in the dark instead of seeing the full picture. The film gives plenty of room to Brosnahan to turn her character from a helpless, vulnerable woman into a fearless female who gradually learns how to survive in this brutal man-dominated world.
After her career-defining role in Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, Brosnahan doesn’t just vanish from the massive shade of Mrs. Maisel. She also leads audiences to discover and experience the character, diving deep into the world she’s living in. It’s always a joy to see an actor skillfully jumps out of the box of typecasting. The scenario also applies to Hart, who directed one of the most poetic superhero films “Fast Color” in 2018. Hart has long been an underrated filmmaker that sadly not many people recognize and appreciate. With “I’m Your Woman’, Hart adds a new voice to this ‘70s style crime thriller with her unpredictable artistic and arresting visual style. Her films are always about empowering, and “I’m Your Woman” is no doubt her finest one.
- Distributor: Amazon Studios
- Production: Big Indie Pictures, Original Headquarters, and Scrap Paper Pictures
- Director: Julia Hart
- Writer: Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz
- Producer: Rachel Brosnahan and Jordan Horowitz
- Cast: Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison and Bill Heck
- “I’m Your Woman” premiered at AFI Fest Oct. 15, 2020. Available for streaming on Amazon Prime on Dec. 11, 2020
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