I’m Your Woman 2020 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
The conventional crime movie is, with few exceptions (“Ocean’s 8,” “Hustlers”), male-centered. With “I’m Your Woman,” the director Julia Hart (who wrote the screenplay with Jordan Horowitz) explores the spaces between what we generally see in crime pictures — spaces inhabited by the women who are intimate with the criminals.
Narration at the beginning informs the viewer that Jean and Eddie are married and unable to have children. Jean (Rachel Brosnahan), alone in her yard, is idle, as a Bobbie Gentry song plays on the soundtrack. (The movie is set in an unspecified period that aims to evoke a suburban 1970s.) She appears to be bored, and the yard appears to need raking. Soon Eddie shows up — with an infant. Jean wanted a baby, so he got her one.
But this is not a “Raising Arizona” variant. Eddie (Bill Heck), who by Jean’s understanding is merely a petty criminal, soon disappears. Jean and the baby are hustled out of their house by Cal (Arinzé Kene), an associate of Eddie’s. Cal tells Jean that she has to become invisible; some bad guys are after Eddie. She gets a bag of money and a ride from Cal to a supposed safe house.
In their travels, a confused Jean and a sober, capable Cal discover the baby is a real crier. They stop by the side of the road to settle the kid down, then fall asleep themselves. They’re roused by a cop, who among other things, doesn’t like the sight of a Black man in the driver’s seat with a white woman in the passenger’s seat.
“I’m Your Woman” unfolds these tense situations in a paradoxically languorous style. Hence, the near misses with death start to feel like so many red herrings. The movie’s vagueness wants to appear purposeful, reflecting Jean’s disorientation, but it’s mostly confounding. Brosnahan, when she’s not playing panicked, largely enacts Jean as an irritated cipher.
“I am so sick of everyone telling me what to do,” Jean grouses at a certain point. But the evidence — that is, the characters killed every time she acts on her own accord — suggests that she just might want to take some direction. This is one of those movies in which the protagonist is shown time and again to be grievously ill-equipped to handle danger, until the point when she suddenly and decisively performs with bring-down-the-house competence. It’s a tired trope that underscores why this ambitious movie doesn’t work.