After its debut at Telluride, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking has awards pundits talking about its solid reception. Based on a 2018 novel by Miriam Toews, it focuses on a group of Mennonite women who are subject to sexual abuse. The powerhouse cast includes Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, and Frances McDormand.
Based on a small number of reviews, critics are positive across the board with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100%. There wasn’t much doubt that Women could be a contender at the Oscars. A better question was which performers would stand out. First things first. McDormand (who serves as a producer) apparently has a small role so she will not vie for a fourth acting statue. If any of the cast goes lead, it sounds like Mara would be the choice and her inclusion in Best Actress could come down to competition. A likelier scenario is Buckley or Foy (or both) in Supporting Actress and Whishaw in Supporting Actor. That would mark the second nomination for Buckley after last year’s The Lost Daughter and the first for Foy (who was surprisingly snubbed in 2018 for First Man). This would also be Whishaw’s first trip to the dance. Early chatter has praised Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy as well, but I wouldn’t be surprised if United Artists focuses on the higher profile thespians.
I’ve had Women Talking in my ten BP hopefuls for weeks and Telluride confirms its placement there. Polley could make the final five for her direction and her inclusion for Adapted Screenplay seems assured. Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score (she’s a past winner for Joker) and Cinematography are tech possibilities.
Bottom line: Women. Talking is showing itself to be worthy of chatter in the months to come. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…