The Oscar-winning Director’s latest film opened this year’s London Film Festival, and it made for thrilling viewing. McQueen has previously been at the festival with Shame and 12 Years A Slave. Again, he delivers with this re-working of Lynda La Plante’s novel and a stellar ensemble cast. The film has been transported from London to Chicago and although I did not see the 80s TV series, the Windy City is a fine equivalent.
Widows shows a group of women left to pick up the pieces after their husbands are killed in a job gone wrong. Viola Davis is magnificent as Veronica Rawlings, who takes the lead. After a threatening visit from ruthless criminal Jamal Manning, Veronica must find a way to pay off her husband’s debt. Joining forces with the remaining widows, they plan a heist. Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) is a mother of three and dress shop owner, juggling her parental commitments with robbery planning. Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) is brilliantly funny as she tries to secure the group some firepower for the job. Hairdresser Belle (Cynthia Erivo) eventually becomes their getaway driver. Daniel Kaluuya delivers a dark and cold performance as brutal henchman Jatemme Manning, with some genuinely shocking moments.
Political corruption is the other major strand in the film, with Colin Farrell giving an amusing performance as dodgy politician Jack Mulligan. Widows also touches on other hot topics such as police brutality, domestic violence and sex work. However, the film doesn’t shout about any of these subjects, simply threading them together against the backdrop of gritty Chicago.
Widows marks another collaboration with cinematographer Sean Bobbit, giving the film a slick and stylish feel. It is perfectly set to composer Hans Zimmer’s score, giving the audience an audiovisual thrill.
McQueen’s films never give you an easy emotional ride, and here there is shock, laughter and tears. I anticipate award nominations for several cast and crew – notably Viola Davis. In conclusion, Widows is a fantastic addition to the heist genre.
Widows is on general release in the UK from Tuesday 6th November 2018.