Ben Whishaw, Frances McDormand and Judith Ivey also star in Sarah Polley’s feature film based on Miriam Toews’ novel.
Should violence against women beget violence against their male aggressors?
The trailer for “Women Talking” shows Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy debating what to do about rampant rape in their remote religious community. Ben Wishaw also plays. Based on Miriam Toews’ novel, “Women Talking” marks Polley’s first film since her 2012 autobiographical documentary “Stories We Tell” and her first narrative feature since 2011’s “Take This Waltz.” Given the subject matter, this proved to be among Polley’s most difficult films to date.
“We had a therapist on set for the tougher scenes,” Sarah Polley told IndieWire. “It’s this woman called Dr. Laurie Haskell who specializes in trauma after sexual assault. Hard things happened for a lot of people, not just the cast and crew. It’s not just that we show violent scenes. We were conjuring up thoughts, feelings, and emotions that many people had lived with for a long time. Some of those conversations made their way into the film.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Polley has previously opened up about her unsettling experience as a traumatized child actress on the set of director Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’ while filming action sequences. The abuse of power on set led the production to be beholden to Gilliam’s “wild and ambitious impulses” and an sometimes dangerous atmosphere, according to Polley, especially for an 8-year-old.
“I love Terry Gilliam films. I refuse to consider him a freak,” Polley told IndieWire. “I don’t think he is. I think he screwed up a lot of things, and he didn’t take responsibility for it, and that sucks. But he also had great qualities and did a great job. I just want to have a conversation with him and hear his perspective on what he saw. I hope he will listen to mine.
“Women Talking” made its international premiere at TIFF 2022, followed by an appearance in the NYFF Spotlight section.
IndieWire reviewer David Ehrlich wrote in his review of the film, “‘Women Talking’ is such a visceral and commanding ode to the stories we tell ourselves – and the stories women share with each other – that it is destined to be more alive. in our memories than it has ever been before our eyes. […] Polley’s film plays the long game. She digs deep within herself and along the horizon for the strength to envision a better future – a future more dependent on compassion than power. one-sided who needs subjects on which he can prove himself.
“Women Talking” will premiere in select theaters on December 2 and nationwide on December 25 by United Artists Releasing.
Check out the trailer below.