It’s fair to say that WIDOWS is entertaining enough, but at the same time I wanted so much more from a Steve McQueen Gillian Flynn adaptation of Linda LaPlante’s TV series. This film never really felt like it should be the opening night of the LFF, but you can see why the creative team alone propelled it there. It’s breathlessly directed. The performances are faultless, with Viola Davis a standout, as you would expect. The concept is certainly strong, and yes, there are the expected twists and turns, (as well as lurking suspicions), but somehow I came through it caring very little for the characters, feeling them all to be rather morally bankrupt. Whilst I could sympathise with Veronica’s plight, knowing that the women were all perfectly aware of their husbands’ criminal deeds takes away some of the empathy.
Viola Davies and her merry band of widows, including Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo acquit themselves well, attempting to escape their disrupted lives, and operating amid the disturbing levels of political corruption on all sides and the under-current of race conflict around a local election in Chicago.
So see it if you enjoy a decent heist movie, gritty, urban and twisty. Enjoy a great cast of male characters too, including a particularly good turn by the veteran Robert Duvall and a brilliantly, uncharacteristically vicious one by Daniel Kaluuya.
But just don’t expect a classic.