The Woman in the Window (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
PLAGUED by a 7 month delay stemming from constant reshoots and re-edits, Joe Wright's Netflix original shows promise during the opening act, but dawdles too long before hastily rushing to an anti-climatic, non-sensical conclusion.
Based on A.J Finn's critically-acclaimed 2018 novel of the same name, The Woman in the Window follows the life of Anna Fox (Amy Adams) who suffers from agoraphobia; a condition which causes significant fear of the outside world. She sits inside her home and begins spying on her new neighbours where she witnesses a horrible incident unfold, but because of side effects caused by her medication, Anna is unsure whether the crime she saw was real or fictional, fracturing her perception of reality.
The film was originally set for an October release date in order to be eligible for Oscar season, with Amy Adams presumably being nominated for Best Leading Actress. However, it was not meant to be for the six-time nominee as Adams, while good in her role, felt farcical due to Joe Wright's misdirection of her character, in turn, affecting her performance which could have been so much more.
Amy Adams' diverting performance was the best in the film, with veteran actors Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore unable to keep up with the meandering pace set by Adams. However, all involved did manage to maintain the same level of campiness as every character felt like a caricature of what was originally intended. From detectives abusing a mentally-ill woman for a "false report", to character motivations and moods changing on the fly to suit the situation, every actor was hilarious in their roles, giving the film a cruelly-amusing feel similar to movies such as The Room and Troll 2.
To be fair the film does offer one major positive which is showcased from beginning to end: cinematography. Despite re-edits and reshoots affecting its style, The Woman in the Window showcases unique and eerie shots, never cutting back and forth between characters in a disorientating manner. The scars of Anna's mind open up towards the end of the film, allowing for unique sceneries shown through the eyes of the agoraphobic; all without having to leave the supposed comfort of her home.
Instead of being a throwback to the Hitchcock-era of filmmaking, The Woman in the Woman felt more like a step backwards due to sluggish pacing, and the misutilisation of its incredible actors by way of terrible writing and poor direction from an otherwise competent director. Unless you're wanting to watch one of 2021's most unintentionally-funny movies, The Woman in the Window is an easy skip likely to be forgotten in the coming weeks.