As you might have read in my top 25 films of the year list, I’m Your Woman is a genre defying thriller that uses its noir roots to tell a female driven tale in the same style as classic detective mysteries like The Maltese Falcon and more specifically Gaslight. Opening on Jean (Rachel Brosnahan), a sheltered housewife of career criminal Eddie (Bill Heck), a woman with no house to keep and no children to care for. When Eddie comes home with a baby the family unit is complete until everything starts going to hell. Packed up in the middle of the night and sent across country with the stoic Cal (Arinzé Kane) with no sign of Eddie, Jean must figure out new motherhood and how to survive all while hunting the simple question of what the hell is going on? It’s the starting of a good film but I’m Your Woman constantly shifts gears throughout to make a good one, a great one.
Most of this comes down to how director Julia Hart flips from heady family drama to electric thriller with very little turnaround. A home cooked dinner can turn into a home invasion while never feeling out of place in a feature that has plenty to say but knows exactly when to slow it down and when to put is foot on the accelerator. What begins feeling like Eddie’s mystery, quickly becomes Jean’s story and Brosnahan proves the perfect choice here, a mixture of put upon incredulity and unfettered terror that slowly gives way to nervy feminine rage. Arguably the best moments here are the quiet ones where Jean finally gets a grip on motherhood, bonding with the one thing keeping her going. In this quiet, Brosnahan and Hart find the real charm of this story of betrayal and deception and despite the noir trappings, I’m Your Woman ends up feeling warm and inviting with a soundtrack with some inspired 70s throwbacks. It’s a classic homage to black and white thrillers but this one is full of colour.