I'm Your Woman is about Jean, a thief's wife, whose life is thrown into uncertainty when her husband doesn't come home one night. Suddenly, Jean's husband Eddie's colleagues roust Jean from bed and get her to go on the run because Eddie's missing and some bad people are after him. Being left completely in the dark, Jean, her baby son Harry, and a man she just met who's meant to protect her, Cal, are off on the road and out of the city. And the tension ratchets up from there. The film stars Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison, Marceline Hugot, De'Mauri Parks, Bill Heck, and James McMenamin. The film is directed by Julia Hart and written by Hart and Jordan Horowitz. The film is streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime.
I thoroughly enjoyed Julia Hart's deconstruction of the superhero genre with her previous feature, Fast Color and this follow up, which is a sort of minimalist gangster film, doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Hart has a keen eye and a knack for knowing how long to let a scene linger before cutting. It's a thrilling film to watch, not because of how many men are on screen waving guns around, but because of the waiting.
In the crime films that proceeded I'm Your Woman, we're usually treated to a person who knows exactly what is going down. They know why they're being chased, they know why they should stay away from familiar places, but Jean doesn't. She's completely in the dark about all of it except the necessary details, like that Eddie is a thief and that he worked for some shady people.
The tension isn't in the soliloquies, the monologues, the agonizing over the details of the crime, it's in the unknown. Jean, even when she wheedles some information out of Cal or Teri, Cal's wife, is still a babe in the woods. The brilliance of Hart and Jordan Horowitz's script is in the depth of the layers of information. Nothing is just dumped out, it's piecemeal as we go along. Even when there is a reveal or exposition, it's not at all everything. It's just enough to progress.
There is a scene at Jean's first safe house where she's been told not to trust anyone, not to let anyone in, but her loneliness gets the better of her and she invites a friendly neighbor into the house. They share some food and some wine, but Jean lets her guard down. As the neighbor goes to the bathroom, there's something in the way she says a phrase that gives Jean pause. The focus on Jean's face as she thinks more carefully, suddenly becomes panic. It's a great scene and leads to some exciting movement later.
Though, scenes like the one described above wouldn't work if the film didn't have such a strong central performance by Rachel Brosnahan. She's got an incredibly expressive face that she uses to great effect with some of the scenes with more sparse dialogue. While this film is far more serious in tone than her day job on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, she's able to bring a dash of that timing to it with her brief periods of levity and wit. More than anything, Brosnahan disappears into the role, making us forget she's ever been anyone else.
I really loved I'm Your Woman. There's something exciting and watchable about a woman coming into her own and protecting what's most important to her in the world. I'm very excited to see what Julia Hart comes up with next and I hope she maintains her theme of women coming into power because it's a well that will never run dry and always be compelling in her hands. Check this one out.