‘I’m Your Woman’ is a Subtle and Enduring Crime Thriller
Imagine being a person whose significant other takes care of everything and then suddenly that person is gone without warning, leaving you to your own devices in a world that, through no fault of your own (or theirs, really), you have no idea how to navigate.
That, in a nutshell, is at the heart of the dramatic crime thriller ‘I’m Your Woman.’
Rachel Brosnahan as Jean in ‘I’m Your Woman.’ (Photo by Wilson Webb. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.)
Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) and Eddie (Bill Heck) are a young suburban couple – she a stay-at-home housewife with seemingly few household – or life – skills and he, well, we don’t really know what he does right away, but we can safely assume it’s nefarious.
One night, while their home fills with friendly but shady-looking characters, Eddie tells Jean he’s going to work and won’t be home until morning. Unfazed as this is apparently normal, Jean puts the couple’s baby to bed and drifts off to sleep.
Soon thereafter she’s abruptly woken by one of Eddie’s associates who tells her the plan has gone south and she needs to grab the baby, the satchel of cash he’s put together, and to get in a car with Cal (Arinzé Kene) – another of her husband’s associates.
Cal’s one and only goal is to keep Jean and the baby alive while everyone looks for answers … and Eddie.
Rachel Brosnahan as Jean and Arinzé Kene as Cal in ‘I’m Your Woman.’ (Photo by Wilson Webb. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.)
While ‘I’m Your Woman’ is very much a crime thriller with a spattering of action every so often, it’s really much more about Jean’s transformation from the meek, quiet suburban housewife to the (almost) certified badass who finds self-sufficiency and strength while protecting her baby and looking for the truth about her husband.
And Brosnahan absolutely knocks it out of the park. I know everyone raves about her work on ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and ‘House of Cards,’ but I haven’t watched either show, so this is pretty much my first exposure to her, and I am very impressed. Over the course of two hours you watch Jean subtly morph from exasperatingly helpless to surprisingly adept and assertive. While the film takes a lot of twists and turns and generally moves briskly, Jean’s transition never feels rushed or forced.
Marsha Stephanie Blake and Rachel Brosnahan Cal in ‘I’m Your Woman.’ (Photo by Wilson Webb. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.)
The other star of this show is director/writer Julia Hart. Another talent I’m aware of, but unfamiliar with her work (although ‘Miss Stevens’ and ‘Fast Color’ have been in my online queues for a while), Hart does an excellent job telling an intriguing story without trying to do too much with it – often the downfall of many thrillers. There’s twists and turns, but like Brosnahan’s Jean, they feel natural and unforced. She also did a wonderful job of capturing the look and feel of the period (with a major assist from cinematographer Bryce Fortner), which really helped push this one over the top.
I finished watching this one two days ago and my thoughts at that time were basically what they are now, but more toned down. But the longer I’ve been away from it, the more I’ve thought about it and developed stronger opinions on it – it really is an understated piece of art that just burrows its way into your head. My hunch is it will age well upon further viewings, too.
You can watch ‘I’m Your Woman’ right now on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend you do so.
★★★★ of ★★★★★