When everything in a movie comes together we get something wonderful, something valuable and most of all, something that we want to watch. Here Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) joins the brilliant writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) in producing a script for some great actors to perform.
I am a fan of heist films, I like the clever ways that the characters find to pull off the theft. We think of Widows as a heist film. But we could also think of Widows as a clinched jawed action/thriller. The four women, the Widows of slain crooks, have some very bad people breathing down their necks, which makes for some tense moments. All that said, Widows actually has in its main parts a very serious drama about love, betrayal, loss and personal dignity. Plus a heist and some very ruthless and nasty bad guys.
Great actors make a big difference in a film, if they have something to act about in the script. Robert Duvall and Viola Davis both have Oscars on their shelf, for The Judge and Fences, respectively. Liam Neeson has a nomination and Davis has two more nominations. These actors can bring power to a film. The less well rewarded actors also bring out very strong efforts here. Tough girl Michelle Rodriguez, tough guy Colin Farrell and Jon Bernthal are all three well known and familiar. Less well known Elizabeth Debicki has a long record of good work in a wide range of roles. We saw the French born actress in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in a role both comic and imperious. Cynthia Erivo won a Tony for her singing role in the live theater version of The Color Purple but has transitioned to acting admirably. Movie fans delighted in her role recently in the film noir mystery Bad Times at the El Royale.
Daniel Kaluuya has great charm and menace as one of the very bad guys. Also watch for Garret Dillahunt (from TV show Raising Hope). Lukas Haas served as a 10 year old in Witness with Harrison Ford and has done scores of other roles since.
Widows runs a good long two hours and 9 minutes but be warned it has a big 'ol R rating for strong violence, very bad language as well as naked people bits. Widows wins with five spinning sawblades as one of the year's best movies.
The film has a British TV series of the same name as a basis. London born writer/director Steve McQueen switched the local to Chicago. English director Steve McQueen is no relation of the late American actor of the same name.
The Englishman director manages an authentic seeming aura of all suffusing corruption in the fabric of life in Chicago that shows all around the edges of the film. Chilling that is if not exactly news.