Widows hit the cinema this week, an action-thriller from the Academy Award winning director of 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen. He teams up with an all star cast that includes Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Michelle Rodriguez.
From the very beginning, Widows is an emotional rollercoaster. In the first five minutes alone, McQueen sends you back and forth between moments of intimacy and love, juxtaposed with action and violence.
As always, it is a pleasure to watch Davis at work. As Veronica she manages to bring complete subtlety, to the point where you begin to question whether her character is just naive, and matches this with dramatic explosions of emotion.
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The latter can be a tricky thing to pull off. In one scene, her character sits alone in a bathroom, screaming and crying into a mirror. This does feel a little unrealistic – but it is certainly a refreshing display of emotional vulnerability that was necessary in seeing she is only human.
Davis does get free rein to showcase her abilities but the supporting performances all certainly hold their own. Kaluuya is terrific and portrays perhaps one of the cruellest villains in a mainstream film that has been seen for some time. It is not completely out of the question to imagine him in the Best Supporting Actor category at the Oscars this year.
It is the women in this film that really have a moment to shine, though. Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo, along with Davis, create such a powerful dynamic as a group that works perfectly in convincing you that they really could pull off this heist together.
The storytelling and acting performances alone are enough to make this film worth watching, but that matched with the stylistic camerawork from McQueen makes it simply unmissable.
Despite the film being near perfect, there is still much discussion about whether Widows is really an Oscar type of film. This narrative is reminiscent of the Get Out conversation, which ultimately led to people grossly underestimating it’s abilities.
As shown in the film, being underestimated can sometimes work in your favour. With such a strong group of talent, it is hard to imagine a world where this film isn’t rewarded on the biggest scale. The best thing, Veronica says, that the group have going for them is being who they are, because “nobody thinks we have the balls to pull this off.”
Words: Christian Onions | Subbed: Tabitha Durrant