Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, Jordan Stokes, and Matthew Wrather overthink Widows, adapted by acclaimed art-house director Steve McQueen from a British mini-series into a multiplex-friendly heist film–though to be fair one that is fascinating, brilliantly-acted, and exquisitely made. We discuss the genre (what even is a heist movie?), the relationship between the filmmaking and subject matter, and the film’s take on family, race, class, crime, and politics.
We don’t often make recommendations–mostly because we do shows about enormous movies that everyone inevitably sees–but you should go see this film.
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- Widows on IMDB
- “Director Steve McQueen Goes from Art House to Multiplex with Heist Thriller Widows“ on Vanity Fair
All this time, I’ve been wondering why people talk about Steve McQueen like he’s some up-and-comer, rather than a famous actor. Turns out, this is something I should have looked up sooner, because…not the same guy. Oops.
Either way, the world needs more heist movies…
I just saw this film on Sunday. Going into to it I knew it was a heist film and several critics have said heists films are metaphors for the process of making films.
For both, you need to get a crew together to plan and execute. Each crew person might have a different specialty. Everyone needs to play their part correctly. Things can go wrong that make the production or heist a failure. After it is done, countless people comb through the production or heist to see what happened.
I kept looking for the film making metaphor in “Widows” but it was more subtle than in other heist films. The idea of making a serious crime caper film with women is the heist. Can we get audience to take this seriously. This was already attempted with Ocean’s 8 earlier this year, but that was a comedy. If we strip out the humor can this still work?
This film also make me realized how much an election campaign is like a heist. That subtext was a little more obvious is this film.
Finally saw Widows last week and listened to this episode of the podcast today. *SPOILERS FOLLOWING*
To answer some of the outstanding questions about Jatemme’s crash:
In the moments leading up to the crash, Jatemme was listening to the debate between his brother and Jack Mulligan. He was cheering at a statement his brother was making when the crash occurred. Also, while not killing the women would seem out of character for Jatemme, as Stokes said (I think it was Stokes; if not, I apologize for my confusion), remember that Jamal told him not to touch Veronica before the deadline for repayment. It would arguably be cleaner to leave the scene looking like an opportunistic carjacking/theft (I may be wrong, but I don’t remember any of the women seeing Jatemme before that night.) than a triple homicide with a witness deliberately left alive.
Great episode, as always!