“The Woman in the Window” evokes two emotional states extensively related to the Covid-19 pandemic: actual property envy and the situation of melancholy drift that some psychologists name languishing. The resonance is solely unintended, since this adaptation of a 2018 novel by J.A. Finn, directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”), was initially slated for theatrical launch in 2019. To make an extended story quick, it fell via the cracks of the Fox-Disney merger and landed at Netflix, the place it feels curiously at house.
Speaking of house, Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams) lives in a really good one — an enormous brownstone on a quiet block in Harlem. Anna, whose husband (Anthony Mackie) and younger daughter (Mariah Bozeman) are elsewhere, suffers from acute agoraphobia and power nervousness, which she treats with handfuls of tablets and huge glasses of crimson wine. Her shrink (Tracy Letts, additionally credited with the screenplay) makes home calls, and earlier than lengthy lots of different individuals are interrupting Anna’s solitude. Her downstairs tenant (Wyatt Russell), a pair of detectives (Brian Tyree Henry and Jeanine Serralles), and members of a troubled household that has simply moved in throughout the road.
Like so many people, Anna responds to the tedium of her existence by watching outdated motion pictures, together with Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and thrillers that really feel a bit on the nostril given her psychological state and voyeuristic inclinations. Like Jimmy Stewart’s character in “Rear Window,” she thinks she has witnessed a homicide, and the query is whether or not she or the thriller will unravel first.
It must be a extra fascinating query. “The Woman in the Window” (which shares its title with a 1944 Fritz Lang noir) isn’t simply one other straight-to-streaming style mediocrity. It’s a high-end style mediocrity, with many spectacular names hooked up. Bruno Delbonnel served as cinematographer. Danny Elfman wrote the rating. Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Jason Leigh are amongst these displaying up on the entrance door, together with the gifted younger actor Fred Hechinger.
The result’s one thing that intermittently seems to be and appears like film with out ever truly being one. This will not be an unusual phenomenon lately, as status tv and studio filmmaking and the publishing trade converge to provide shiny commodities which are interesting partly as a result of they resemble issues that folks keep in mind liking in some unspecified time in the future.
“The Woman in the Window” resembles different psychological thrillers about girls in misery — together with the current Netflix unique “Things Heard & Seen” — with out being terribly thrilling or psychologically insightful. It can be particularly gauche to spoil the plot as a result of the plot is all there’s: a mechanistic collection of feints and rug-pulls main as much as a climactic motion sequence that’s exceptional for its sloppiness and lack of conviction.
Up till that time, Adams does what she will to carry coherence and credibility to a narrative that has none of its personal. She has a knack for taking part in competent, sensible characters below siege from interior demons and exterior pressures — girls on the verge who’re each sympathetic and a little bit scary — however her current initiatives have exploited this talent fairly than extending it. Wright, for his half, can’t summon the wit or the nastiness to make Anna’s ordeal disturbing or enjoyable.
If you will have exhausted the opposite accessible choices, you possibly can definitely pour your self some merlot and mope round the lounge whereas this film performs within the background. We’ve all been there. But in my skilled opinion you would possibly no less than contemplate getting out of the home.
The Woman within the Window
Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes. Watch on Netflix.