Julia Hart’s movie is a slow-burn thriller with the tension building smoothly to fever pitch
Noir and neo-noir invariably bring to mind hard-drinking men, smooth jazz, fedoras, slinky women with red mouths like avaricious wounds and neon-lit, rain-drenched streets. Julia Hart’s I’m Your Woman is what happens when these conventions are turned on their head.
Set in the ‘70s, I’m Your Woman opens like a dream with vivid colours and Jean lying in the sun in a bright red negligee with a fur trim. She lives in a lovely if slightly antiseptic house with her husband, Eddie. Her life is perfect except for a lack of children and when Eddie comes home one day with a baby, it seems like the cherry on the American dream.
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Things then slowly start to unravel. Eddie is missing. He has done something wrong and bad people are after him. Jean is in danger too and has to leave home in the middle of the night with Cal who might or might not be working with Eddie.
The movie is a slow-burn thriller with the tension building smoothly to fever pitch. Telling the story from Jean’s perspective adds a fascinating angle to the tale. Jean’s isolation, her fatigue at caring for the baby Harry, her frustration at cooking, all build up a captivating and realistic portrait of life on the run.
Rachel Brosnahan nails her portrayal of Jean. The star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel breathes life into Jean whether she is hiding in the closet with Harry from stone-cold killers or singing Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman’ complete with the ‘Ahoo’ sound that makes Harry laugh. Harry, incidentally, is adorable and might even give Grogu, formerly known as The Child, a run for its money in the cuteness stakes. Arinzé Kene plays Cal, Jean’s unwitting guardian angel, Marsha Stephanie Blake plays Cal’s wife, Teri, while Bill Heck is the feckless Eddie and Marceline Hugot is Evelyn who might or might not be innocent.
The silent and bleak movie has a somewhat upbeat ending, with the mystery satisfactorily solved and most of Jean’s (and our) questions answered. Written by Hart and her husband, Jordan Horowitz, I’m Your Woman works for those who like thrillers with a twist.
I’m Your Woman is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video