The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - MOVIES - WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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.


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