SATURDAY, 9 MARCH – 7.30pm
2018 | UK-US | Crime-Drama-Thriller | Directed by Steve McQueen. Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Carrie Coon, Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall. 129 min. Rated 15.
After Hunger, Shame and 12 Years A Slave, who would’ve thought that Turner Prize-winning-artist-turned-film director Steve McQueen would set his sights on a crime heist film?
He’s clearly not an obvious candidate on paper to create this story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. And yet this is a cleverly written, beautifully photographed crossover film — an art-pop hybrid.
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. Their story is co-scripted by Gillian Flynn, author of the sensational revenge novel Gone Girl, later adapted by Flynn into the screenplay. Flynn as co-screenwriter makes perfect sense for this woman-powered film, contributing to its American snap and swagger, with crisp, diamond-hard dialogue.
We don’t often have opportunities to screen well-crafted thrillers, so don’t miss this one!
“A perfectly proportioned, whip-smart heist thriller.” – Sight and Sound
“It could have been a trendy treatise on female empowerment, plonked by a killjoy message-monger atop a thriller tale, to crush the life from it. Instead the film is all life. McQueen has a vivifying idea in every scene . . . a magnificent, glossy American heist movie that overlaps the art crowd altogether.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times ★★★★★
“At a time when the snooty term ‘elevated genre’ has become all too prevalent in critical discourse, McQueen doesn’t strain to elevate or embellish the stone-cold thriller he has to work with; rather, he lets it play at a straightforward human level, showing up the plasticised artifice of the multiplex entertainments it’s being programmed against.” – Guy Lodge, The Guardian ★★★★