Amagnificent high-concept heist movie, Widows is adapted from the excellent 1983 British TV miniseries by acclaimed crime author Lynda La Plante.
While the story has been modified slightly – the setting is now the politically and racially charged America of 2018 – the essential gist and inevitable impact of the tale remains exactly the same.
Should you make the mistake of missing Widows, you will be depriving yourself of one of the most memorable films of this year.
The story begins with three elite criminals (led by Liam Neeson) coming to an unseemly end when an elaborate robbery goes horribly wrong.
The three women they leave behind have little time to grieve. A ruthless Chicago crime lord wants the millions that went missing in that ill-fated job, and gives the ladies a deadline to cough up the dough, or else.
Though completely inexperienced as crooks, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) have no choice but to toughen up and take the plunge as high-stakes thieves.
“We have a lot of work to do,” declares Veronica, the nominal leader of the fledgling gang. “Crying isn’t on the list.”
She isn’t kidding around. The to-do list facing these desperate newbies is as long as it is daunting.
Largely because there is only one job they can feasibly execute within the tight timeframe facing them: a hit-run stick-up based on an unfinished blueprint sketched out by Veronica’s late spouse.
Further heightening the degree of difficulty is the unavoidable fact the gang’s predicament will drag them into the force field of one of Chicago’s most corrupt and connected families (of which the great Robert Duvall is the patriarch, and Colin Farrell his devious son and heir).
Behind the cameras, Widows has some pedigree talent calling the shots, and they do not rest on the laurels of their hardearned reputations. Director Steve McQueen ( 12 Years a
Slave) and screenwriter Gillian Flynn ( Gone Girl) are always hustling for greater things from both the sensational source material and an electrifying ensemble cast.
The riveting interplay between the core trio of Davis, Rodriguez and Debicki – all sure to be in Oscars contention this awards season – is further boosted by slashing support turns from the likes of Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya (a disturbing standover man), Bad Times at the El Royale’s Cynthia Erivo (a hairdresser moonlighting as the gang’s getaway driver) and our own Jacki Weaver (Alice’s pessimistically pragmatic mum). The exemplary results achieved by
Widows are there for all to see, and to be utterly knocked out by.
THE IMPRESSIVE CAST OF WIDOWS INCLUDES MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ, ELIZABETH DEBICKI, COLIN FARRELL AND ROBERT DUVALL.