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THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW: 3 STARS. “it is Adams who connects emotionally.”

In adapting “The Woman in the Window,” a new thriller starring Amy Adams, now streaming on Netflix, director Joe Wright borrows liberally from the Hitchcock playbook, paying visual tribute to everything from “Foreign Correspondent” and “Psycho” to “Vertigo” and, of course, “Rear Window.” There are so many Hitch lifts in the look of the movie it makes Brian DePalma’s myriad Hitchcock homages look like petty thievery.

Adams plays child psychologist Anna Fox who lives alone in a rambling brownstone on 124th Street in Manhattan. Agoraphobic, she gets panic attacks at the idea of going outside, let alone actually stepping over her front threshold to the big bad world. Her only regular contact with the outside comes with her weekly visit from her therapist (Tracy Letts) and a downstairs tenant (Wyatt Russell).

When her new neighbors from across the street drop by unexpectedly, she reluctantly lets teenager Ethan (Fred Hechinger) in for a get-to-know-you visit. A day or so later Jane (Julianne Moore) swings by to chat, ask nosy questions and have a glass of wine.

After the visits Anna becomes voyeuristically invested in their lives, watching them from the safety of her apartment as they go about their day to days lives, exposed by two large windows that showcase their living areas.

One night, after mixing wine with her anxiety medication, she witnesses what appears to be an ugly domestic dispute that turns fatal. Trouble is, no one believes the “drunken, pill popping, cat lady.”

Question is, did she really witness a murder or was it a hallucination?

Anna is a classic unreliable narrator, a character whose credibility is questioned at every step of the way. Adams keeps her interesting, bringing a human face to trauma, anxiety and grief. We’re never sure if what we’re seeing is filtered through a haze of medication or actually happening and while Wright finds flashy visual ways to portray this, it is Adams who connects emotionally.

There are moments of supercharged filmmaking in “The Woman in the Window” but the tonal shifts and pacing get in the way of making this edge of your seat viewing. Director Joe Wright brings his trademarked visual style to illustrate Anna’s anxiety. Unusual angles and lurid colours illustrate Anna’s disconnected moments, wide shots of her empty apartment represent her isolation. It’s effectively and inventively done, but the slack pacing sucks much of the energy out of the storytelling.

“The Woman in the Window” has moments that truly work but it is dulled by its deliberate pace, repetitive nature and typical confessional ending.

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