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A fusion of stark brutality, underhand crimes and complex systems of political and personal power, Widows is far more just than an awards-season thriller, but a sharp and forceful indictment of corruption on every level of society. It’s not often that I’m able to see a movie and feel physically moved by it, but I sat through this with teeth clenched, it was so tense. Slick, jarring, and paced perfectly, it incorporates slow moments of emotional catharsis, crescendoing into a criminal denouement of theatrical proportions.
The remake of Lynda La Plante’s 1982 British miniseries, Widows hails from a time (not so long ago!) where women were not encouraged to step out in the same way they are today. For that reason, it has a particularly strong resonance today and has been hailed as Steve McQueen’s masterpiece. The fact that it takes hours to think about and unpick afterward shows that it reaches deeper than one might think on initially seeing the film, and means that it will certainly spark debate about the manifold issues of class, race, gender, politics, religion, and family that it laid out.