When you think about the spectacular names related to the brand new Netflix drama The Girl within the Window, you may marvel what probably may very well be so unsuitable with this factor that it has been delayed so lengthy that it appeared like it will by no means get launched.
Amy Adams stars with a solid that features Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman and Jennifer Jason Leigh, for starters. A-list director Joe Wright (Delight & Prejudice, Atonement) is behind the digicam; Tracy Letts, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (August: Osage County), wrote the screenplay adaptation of A.J. Finn’s best-selling novel; and Oscar winner Scott Rudin (earlier than this well-publicized recent troubles) was among the many producers. An distinctive group of veteran artists labored under the road. What may go unsuitable? Nearly every little thing.
The movie initially was made by twentieth Century Fox earlier than the Disney merger, and as soon as Disney inherited it, they saved shifting it, pre-pandemic, across the schedule however by no means really opened it. The studio unloaded the pic to Netflix in August, and the streamer lastly goes to premiere it on the service starting Friday with minimal promotion, so far as I can inform.
The solid alone will most likely draw a curious viewers, however what they may see is a little bit of a confused mess, a Hitchcock pretender that goes nowhere. And Hitchcock is an apt comparability since this psychological thriller appears very a lot impressed by one in every of Sir Alfred’s all-time biggest movies, 1954’s Rear Window, which starred James Stewart as a wheelchair-bound man always searching at his neighbors in surrounding residences when he finds himself caught up in a thriller. Throw in different inspirations like The Lady on a Prepare and components of Wait Till Darkish, and also you get the thought.
Adams performs Anna Fox, a severely agoraphobic ex-child psychologist who by no means leaves her NYC brownstone however passes the times ingesting crimson wine and watching previous black-and-white movie noir films on tv. She is especially intrigued by the surface world from her window and turns into fixated, with digicam in hand, on a brand new household shifting into an house throughout the road. Lo and behold, she will get a customer — the couple’s 15-year-old son Ethan Russell (Fred Hechinger), bearing a present from his mom. At first nervous to unlock her door, she warms as much as him and lets him in. They strike up an immediate friendship. On one other day, Jane Russell (Julianne Moore), the girl Anna believes is Ethan’s mother, visits to supply help and a bit cleanup responsibility after trick-or-treaters have terrorized Anna and egged her home. They’ve a pleasant chat over wine, in fact, and Anna continues checking on the Russell actions even after that, prompting an offended Alistair Russell (Gary Oldman) to barge in and demand she cease “spying” on his household. However when she witnesses a blood-soaked homicide at some point, she calls the cops and all hell breaks free.
Anna is satisfied that Alistair has killed Jane, who Anna believes has mysteriously disappeared. She brings in Detective Little (Brian Tyree Henry) to research, however the girl claiming to be Jane abruptly seems to show Anna unsuitable. Jane Russell No. 2 is performed by Leigh. Oy. Does this get convoluted? Is Anna going loopy? Is she hallucinating? Did she witness a homicide or what? Why doesn’t Julianne Moore have a much bigger half? Different characters are within the combine right here together with her basement tenant David (Wyatt Russell), who helps out as a handyman however seems to have been in jail for some motive at one time. There’s additionally Letts, who performs Anna’s therapist, a thankless function he wrote for himself.
All of this drags on, lightened up solely by occasional cute pictures of Anna’s cat, as her situation worsens and the (self-imposed?) terror ratchets as much as the purpose the place one in every of these characters unveils a knife, timed completely to an intense rainstorm and flashbacks revealing Anna’s causes for her psychological instability (that is the place Anthony Mackie briefly exhibits up). Adams is such an excellent actress that she makes us consider that she actually believes within the plight of her character. Moore — in for principally one large scene — Oldman, a way-underused Leigh and Russell can’t do a lot with inventory characters. Hechinger has a much bigger function and does what he can with it. Fairly frankly, this entire factor would have been higher off staying on the shelf.
Along with Rudin, producers are Eli Bush and Anthony Katagas. Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography is darkish and unimpressive, and manufacturing designer Kevin Thompson’s brownstone house is dreary. Danny Elfman did the appropriately foreboding musical rating.
Take a look at my video overview with scenes from the film on the hyperlink above. Do you propose to see The Girl within the Window? Tell us what you assume.