After Hillbilly Energy with Glenn Close, Amy Adams gets to rev the hysterics again in her first collaboration with Joe Wright. No so persuasively in ‘an adaptation of a 2018 AJ Finn best seller.
But, The Woman in the Window has gone through much remodeling and controversy on its way to a leading streaming service. That means plenty of reshooting and rewrites of a script by Tracy Letts (who’s a colleague of the protagonist here) by Tony Gilroy.
Can visual acumen trump a mostly one-note, languorous mediocrity in what alludes to psychological thrillers from genre masters like Alfred Hitchcock and Otto Preminger? For as much as Adams provides from her merlot swilling, pill-popping psychologist Anna Fox, the banal, the scene-chewing and one-note quality amid red-herrings and twists subdue her. More so that another wannabe thriller, The Girl on the Train.
This time, it’s the agoraphobic, anxiety-plagued Anna presumably witnessing the murder of a neighbor, one Jane Russell. A crazy on-edge individual really doesn’t appear that way in Adams’ crafting of the character. There are some heated confrontations as many folks make their way through her envious, well-lit Harlem Brownstone. Yet, in its narrative progressions with some rug-pulling it proves unflattering fro the on-looker who hasn’t stepped away ‘for a large glass of win or to catch some air.
Brian Tyree Henry, Fred Hechinger, and Julianne Moore, to their credit, comes out well in this smudgy Window. Henry as a detective, Hechinger as befriended son and Moore as Russell. Much less so for Gary Oldman (where’s the menace), Jennifer Jason Leigh (with hardly any dialogue), as well as Anthony Mackie and Mariah Bozeman as estranged family.
Wright has made some estimable films (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Darkest Hour — the latter with Oldman) but this is a “Pan” territory even with verve that can’t make it remotely intriguing or involving. While Bruno Delbonnel can offer slick trappings on the lensing end the damaged past of “Woman” took it pass the point of a returning to being in the same stratosphere as revered, referenced classic starring an injured Jimmy Stewart.