The Woman in the Window was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I read the book by A.J. Finn at the very beginning of the pandemic in preparation for the big screen release. As we all know now, the date was pushed back and the rights were ultimately bought by Netflix. You can imagine the build up and excitement that I have harboured ever since. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it this weekend!
Anna Fox (Amy Adams), is a psychologist who has recently separated from her husband. She lives in their New York City home with her cat Punch where she sees a therapist on the regular for her agoraphobia. Since she doesn’t go outside, Anna often finds herself spying on her neighbours, assuming that she will never have to come face to face with them.
One day, new to the area Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) from across the street appears on her doorstep. The two form a bond over a game of gin and a couple bottles of wine. So, when Anna witnesses a violent incident happening to Jane through her window, who will believe her? Nobody saw them together and to make matters worse, Anna usually washes her medication down with alcohol altering her perception of reality. Not to mention the fact, that it appears Jane Russell (Jennifer Jason Leigh) seems to be alive and well, except she is not at all who Anna met that night.
Let’s start with the good. I thought the casting choices were well done. While I am not usually a fan of Amy Adams, I actually thought her portrayal of Anna was spot on. That was exactly how I imagined the character while reading about her a year ago. Julianne Moore as Jane was uncanny and the two had great chemistry together. Having Gary Oldman as Jane’s husband Alistair and Fred Hechinger as their troubled son Ethan were perfect additions. Rounding out with Wyatt Russell as Anna’s tenant David, Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Little and Anthony Mackie as Anna’s husband Ed, there are a lot of familiar faces to appreciate.
I enjoyed the twists and turns along the way. Despite knowing what they were going to be, seeing the reveals occur on screen was still satisfying. The pacing, while slow to start, was necessary for the film and helped set the tone. It was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat which is really all that I could want from a thriller.
Unfortunately, as is customary with every book to movie adaption, some scenes just do not make the cut. Most of the time, these changes are necessary and I can understand them. This time around, however, there were two plot points in particular that I felt were integral to the story and therefore should have been included. I truly believe if they were added in that everything would have been fleshed out more.
At the end of the day, I am still happy that I finally had the chance to watch The Woman in the Window. It may not have been entirely what I was expecting, but I did like it for what it was.