Writer/director Sarah Polley peels back the layers of covered-up assaults in organized religion.
Adapted from Miriam Toews’ acclaimed novel of the same name, “Women Talking” stars Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw, and Judith Ivey. The film is set to make its world premiere at 2022 TIFF, followed by appearing in the NYFF Spotlight section.
“Women Talking” centers on a group of women in an isolated religious colony who reconcile with their faith after a string of sexual assaults are committed by the colony’s men. The generations of abuse come to light along with the hypocrisy of power in the name of Christ. Sheila McCarthy, August Winter, Michelle McLeod, Will Bowes, and Kira Guloien also star in the film, in theaters December 2.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Polley, whose past features include “Away From Her” and “Stories We Tell,” previously opened up about her troubling experience as a child actress traumatized on the set of director Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” while filming action sequences. The abuse of power on set led to production being beholden to “wild, ambitious impulses” from Gilliam and an at times unsafe atmosphere, according to Polley, especially for a then-eight-year-old.
The cast behind “Women Talking” includes multiple Academy Award winners (McDormand) and nominees (Buckley, Mara). After this year’s “Men” and 2021’s “The Lost Daughter,” Buckley revealed that she views the three films “in conversation with one another.”
“There are certain situations throughout life where women have to contort themselves and submit themselves, or become smaller than they actually are,” Buckley told The Independent. “I’m really interested in pushing the parameters of what I’ve always understood about being a woman. I want to unlearn things.”
“Women Talking” marks Mara’s follow-up role to “Nightmare Alley,” with “La Cocina” restaurant drama currently in post-production. McDormand continues playing complicated characters after “The Tragedy of Macbeth” with “Women Talking,” while Emmy winner Foy is also set to appear in the supernatural film “Strangers.” Fellow Emmy winner Ben Whishaw continues to take on religious-leaning roles with the upcoming “Bad Behavior,” starring as a spiritual leader who mentors a former child actress, played by Jennifer Connelly.
Check out the first look at “Women Talking” below.
The film premieres December 2 from United Artists Releasing.