The Woman in the Window Parent Guide
What starts as a fairly convincing thriller slowly devolves into a tacky horror flick.
Parent Movie Review
It’s been years since agoraphobic Anna Fox (Amy Adams) left her Manhattan brownstone. That hasn’t stopped her from keeping an eye on the neighbors, and she can usually give her psychologist, Dr. Landy (Tracy Letts) a thorough briefing on the comings and goings on the street. So when a new family moves into the house opposite, Anna knows all about it and welcomes the new neighbor, Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) who drops by for a visit.
The new friendship cheers Anna, so it’s not surprising that she’s horrified when she looks across the street and sees Jane fatally stabbed. But when the police arrive, they bring Mr. and Mrs. Russel with them. Alistair Russel (Gary Oldman) is Jane’s husband but the Jane Russel (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who accompanies him, alive and unscathed, is not the woman Anna knows.
Reeling from her experience, Anna continues to hunt for evidence to prove that she witnessed a murder. But she receives no support from the police, and everyone knows that the medication she takes for agoraphobia has some unusual side effects…
While this film is ostensibly based on a novel and not the classic film, Rear Window, the parallels are too close to ignore. And anytime you start treading on directorial toes, you want to be sure you can at least match the quality of the original. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to match Hitchcock at his prime, and Rear Window is one of the best films he ever made. To make an audience accept this movie on its own terms, The Woman in the Window is going to have to knock your socks clean off. And it really, really doesn’t. If anything, my socks are more securely attached than ever.
I can’t fault the cast. Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie…there’s enough talent here to make three or four good movies. Director Joe Wright has certainly made capable films before too, including the ever popular 2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptation and, more recently, Darkest Hour, which earned Gary Oldman an Oscar for Best Actor. It would seem the fault lies in the screenplay.
What starts as a fairly convincing, if unoriginal, thriller slowly devolves into a tacky horror flick. Apart from the dialogue feeling wooden and inhuman most of the time, the story simply cannot bear up under the weight of the audience’s expectations. You look at the cast and the similarities to Hitchcock, and you expect brilliance. When you’re served this tepid plate of mushy clichés and contrived jump scares instead, you’re rightfully disappointed. Add to that heavy drinking and much more profanity than Hitchcock ever used, and you have a movie in search of an audience. Perhaps the only success here is in making me want to re-watch Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly never let me down.Directed by Joe Wright. Starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release May 14, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Woman in the Window rated R? The Woman in the Window is rated R by the MPAA for violence and language
Violence: Several individuals are stabbed or cut with knives, broken glass, and in one case, a small three-prong garden cultivator.
Sexual Content: There are references to adultery. There is no on-screen sexual activity.
Profanity: There are eleven sexual expletives, seven scatological curses, and occasional mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are seen drinking, frequently to excess, and mixing alcohol with prescription medications.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
The Woman in the Window Parents' Guide
Anna clearly has her own problems. What is the cause of her agoraphobia? What does she do to repress her own memories? Why?
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This film is based on a novel by A.J. Finn with the same title. Shutter Island is based on a novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.
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Obviously, there are much better films with similar themes. The first and best is the original Rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Other options include Shutter Island, Fear of Rain, and another remake of Rear Window called Disturbia, which stars Shia LaBeouf. If you’re happy with a fairly muddled thriller, you might enjoy The Girl on the Train.