What Makes a GOOD Movie BAD?

Movie Review – The Woman in the Window. Now on Netflix

The other day, a friend of mine asked me for my thoughts on “The Woman in the Window,” a Netflix-produced drama starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, and Julianne Moore. This mystery isn’t shy about copying the stylings of the late Alfred Hitchcock, and with its claustrophobic, one-room setting, viewers cannot help but draw comparisons to the 1954 “Rear Window.”  

Amy Adams portrays a woman struggling with agoraphobia, and while hiding away in her apartment, she is sure she has witnessed a murder across the street in a neighbor’s apartment. But did she?   

Adams reaches beyond the Romcom mechanics needed for many formula movies and instead, presents us with a woman that is interesting and flawed. The mystery intensifies as new characters are introduced, and we’re left wondering who is fooling us.

For the most part, “The Woman in the Window” is the type of movie that is an excellent Character Study, where nothing is black and white, and no one is simply good or bad. A great movie can introduce you to a character that seems one way, only to peel away at layers until we see the person in a new light. The best stories are grimy, bumpy, and messy­­–forcing us to question what is unfolding on the screen.

Where “The Woman in the Window” fails, is the end. All too often, strong storylines fizzle. Thoughtful dialogue is replaced with the standard fare of psycho attacks and eye-rolling actions that have you yelling, “Just go outside!” Which, of course, no one hears. The result is a good movie that ends on a sour note. And another good movie gone bad.             

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Movie Review – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Described as a “Thrilling and wildly entertaining story about a delicious new take on revenge,” this Oscar nominated movie takes viewers on an exhilarating emotional rollercoaster as Carey Mulligan grabs hold of the role of anti-hero, Casandra, and chokes it to delightfully new heights.

While billed as a thriller, please note that this goes far beyond the mindless storyline of FRIDAY THE 13TH wannabe slasher movies. Rather, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN delivers on all cylinders – creating a story that encompasses the heart and compassion found in another movie billed as a thriller… THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which won several Academy Awards, including  BEST PICTURE, BEST ACTRESS, and BEST DIRECTOR. And like THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, this film peels back several layers, revealing the horrifying ramifications that can result from the victimization of women that is still gaining traction from the ME TOO movement.

Halfway through this movie, I said aloud, “This can’t end well.” Boy, was I wrong, what an ending! Rent it tonight on Amazon for $5.99 and cheer on Carey Mulligan and Director Emerald Fennell tomorrow at the Oscars.       

By Heidi McCrary, author of CHASING NORTH STAR

RADIUM GIRLS

60 Second Movie Review – RADIUM GIRLS

For those of you who remember analog watches, you’ll recall how many glowed in the dark. I would camp out in the closet of my bedroom, watching the soft glow of my watch, staring in wonderment at the neon light—dreaming of acquiring a jar of the paint so that I could add it to my clothes and radiate in the dark like a shimmering fashion model. As I grew older, my time-piece eventually became digital, and I gave little thought to my glowing memories of my watch that glistened in the dark.    

Radium Girls – a movie that premiered on Netflix this past December is a movie based on the true story of a group of young ladies working in a factory in the 1920s, painting radium onto the faces of watches. Told the substance was harmless, they licked the brushes with each stroke in order to give the brushes a fine tip. Off-hours, they also added the glowing paint to their fingernails and faces, believing what they had been told by factory management, that radium was healthy.    

A powerful story that shines a light on a true-life event, and the women who fought to reveal the deadly effects of radium. Radium Girls is a must-watch.

:60 Movie Review – JUDY

After the Yellow Brick Road…

Based on the life of Judy Garland, the movie Judy, stars Renée Zellweger in the title role, and follows Garland’s later years as she attempts to jumpstart a stalled career by taking advantage of her still-adoring fans in London, England.

Zellweger chews through each scene with all the subtlety of a 1940’s screen-diva… and it works. She disappears into her character, allowing us to lose ourselves as we watch the last hurrah of Judy Garland’s life in the limelight. We’re also treated to several flashbacks of Garland in her younger years, giving us a glimpse into the hardship she experienced growing up under the microscope of Hollywood, which had little regard for children. Judy is a beautiful, sad story, and one that will have you watching The Wizard of Oz in a new harsh light.


Side note: that’s actually Zellweger singing most of the tunes, garnering her an Oscar win for Best Actress. Judy is available now as part of Amazon Prime subscription.    

By Heidi McCrary.

Follow McCrary on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor