I’m Your Woman

  • 09 Jan - 15 Jan, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

I’m Your Woman – starring Rachel Brosnahan (of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) – seems at first to be a film which is entirely geared toward the Maisel audience. From its loopy, pink, cursive title sequence to its opening shots of the feathery-haired Jean (Brosnahan), a housewife in a swishy magenta dressing gown and chic oversized sunglasses, we see a well-dressed ’70s woman and wonder if this film is simply another enjoyable exercise in watching Brosnahan swish around in retro duds.

But there’s a compelling bait and switch in I’m Your Woman, which comes pretty early and rips Jean out of bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to leave her previous life behind. Some scheme of her husband’s – a career criminal named Eddie (Bill Heck) – seems to have gone terribly wrong, and she is unceremoniously dumped out into the real world and sent on the lam with zero information about the circumstances. It’s here that she meets an enigmatic bodyguard, Cal (Arinzé Kene), who is sent to protect her from mysterious forces, apparently seeking revenge of some kind. Yet the danger Jean faces as a result of her husband’s behaviour – and the mystery surrounding it – is given shared importance with the interior journey the frightened housewife must now go on. Beautifully lensed though the film is, it is not merely confectionary.

Brosnahan has a lot to convey with this character: wide-eyed innocence, the frustrations of domesticity and motherhood, and eventually ferocious courage in a situation that will require more of her than has ever been asked. It may be a slightly broad sketch of a woman on the edge, but she does an admirable job in giving it the vulnerability it needs. Jean has never been ‘alone’ before – she admits her husband didn’t even like to let her drive the car – and his expansive lies become ever more clear. To free herself of her reliance on him, she goes through a trial by fire, aided by the wonderfully ambiguous Cal and his own wife, Teri, who begin to show her what an adult relationship really looks like.

The unpredictability of the story is a major strength, relying on Jean’s own ignorance of Eddie’s business to provide twists at every juncture. Director Julia Hart offers a strangely warm version of a throwback crime caper, making I’m Your Woman a satisfying genre movie that leaves a lasting impression.