Sarah Polley's first film since 2012s Stories We Tell is clear that this film isnt right. The colors are muted, almost faded, like a memory half-remembered. But as we watch this story of women trying to make decisions about their futures, faith, and freedoms in the future, this palette almost reminds us that they will never see the true beauty of the world until they are equal and free from the world that has held them down for so long.
Women Talking, a book that was written by Polley and named after Miriam Toews, demonstrates early on that what follows is an act of female imagination. Several young girls witness one of the male attackers leaving the community one night, while the others pay the other's bail. A group of women decides whether or not to stay in the colony for the rest of their lives.
As a truck drives by the community, blasting The Monkees Daydream Believer, an almost suicidal slant in this story.
Claire Foy, who is enraged by her treatment and ready to burst, is one of the best ensemble casts of the year. In this world where even the animals have more rights than the women, Salome's righteous rage is a catalyst for this group and film.
Women Talking is a mostly composed of individuals who are contemplating what to do next, and this conversation is utterly captivating. With films like Away from Her and Take This Waltz, Polley has demonstrated the incredible power of profound emotional shifts in a persons existence, and how gracefully she can deal with them with care and consideration.
The two days of discussion about religion and independent thought and freedom, though limited, leave us feeling that these women are already breaking new ground for themselves and their communities. Polleys story is almost as if the men will return someday, and everything will be completely different for them.
Polley's adaptation of Toews' book is one of the most mesmerizing and haunting films of the year, as well as one of the best screenplays and cast members in 2022. Although she has directed many films, she has returned with what may be her finest film so far, which deals with women's rights, avoidance of the truth, and the difficulties in making the right decision.
On December 2, Women Talking will be available in cinemas.