By Lynn Venhaus
Jean is a terrible cook. But her gangster husband Eddie (Bill Heck) doesn’t mind that she is not Susie Homemaker. She wiles the day away looking fabulous in their snazzy place, creature comforts at the ready. “I’m Your Woman” appeals not only with its gaudy look but also its subtle evolution during a distinct time period.
One day, Eddie brings home a baby. On another day, Eddie doesn’t come home. A guy named Cal arrives to drive her and infant Harry away to an undisclosed location. Jean, confused and frightened, does what she is told.
Such is the wife mindset at the time. She knew Eddie was a criminal but didn’t judge. He provided a good life for her that she didn’t look beyond.
In this 1970s set crime drama, Jean is forced to go on the run after Eddie betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey.
Well, on the road she learns a few things and learns how to adapt on her own. She wears thrift store chunky sweaters, bakes TV dinners and listens to an AM radio. She survives. And her growth as a mother is a charming aspect you wouldn’t find in a male-dominated narrative.
Jean’s hard-fought journey about being comfortable in her own skin is at the heart of the crime thriller “I’m Your Woman,” and Rachel Brosnahan embodies Jean’s progression in a genuine way.
Brosnahan, who has won multiple awards as the title character in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” looks every bit a 1970s gal but more importantly, conveys her quicksilver moods and little moments of victory in such an endearing way.
Her talks with Arinze Kene, assiduous as the complicated Cal, are particularly strong and delve more into character than usual crime-centered fare.
Director Julia Hart, who co-wrote the screenplay with her husband Jordan Horowitz, has some issues connecting the dots but not enough to detract.
However, she fumbles with the flow – it’s very measured and slower paced. Nevertheless, Hart can stage compelling action when necessary. And there are some bloody shoot-outs.
Noteworthy are an engaging soundtrack and a production design dense with details.
Brosnahan makes such an impression in this film that you really want to know what happened to Jean and her adorable Harry after the film ends, but glad you were able to spend time with them.
“I’m Your Woman” is a crime drama directed by Julia Hart and starring Rachel Brosnahan, Arinze Kene, Marcia Stephanie Blake, Bill Heck. Rated R for language and violence, it has a run time of 2 hours. Lynn’s Grade: B. The film premiered on Amazon Prime on Dec. 11.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.