A young widow tries to protect her children from a drug dealer who is using her home against her wishes and in doing so, discovers truths about her husband’s murder…
This year has seen some truly stunning turns from female actresses. We’ve had Florence Pugh’s performance in Midsommar, child actress Lexy Kolker in Freaks and Jessie Buckley in Wild Rose to name three. Now you can add Sarah Bolger’s performance in this film to that list.
Bolger’s performance as the widow, Sarah, trying her best with her children, to protect them, in particular her son who has been traumatised witnessing her husband’s murder is superb and is what drives this thriller.
The film is written by Ronan Blaney and touches on the struggles a young widow with children can face, from the way the police and even security guards treat her, thinking she is a prostitute or that her troubles are down to a man, with social services called at one point because of the actions of the drug dealer who forces his way into her home.
But in a way, it’s his actions that give Sarah the power to fight back in bloody and gruesome ways not only against the dealer, but also those he stole from.
Director Abner Pastoll slowly tightens the tension throughout, but also using a moments of humour at times, such as early in the film, Sarah looking for batteries for her vibrator (which shows too how resourceful she is) and turning that scene later when she uses the vibrator as a weapon. While perhaps the film might not fully convince in Sarah’s transformation for the final act, for me it worked very well indeed. The violence in the film is brutal and well done, from Sarah’s dealings with the drug dealer, Tito, to the resolution with gangster. While there could be considered a slight plot contrivance as to how all the characters and story strands fit into place, I didn’t mind that at all, due to the way the story is told.
As well as Sarah Bolger’s performance, the whole cast are first rate. Andrew Simpson, Jane Brennan, Edward Hogg and the others are all very good indeed. It’s a very well shot film by cinematographer Richard C. Bell and the music from Matther Pusti is good too.
As I said, you can perhaps pick holes in certain aspects of the story and some of the contrivances with the plot, but for me, I don’t care. If I enjoy a film a lot, I do tend to overlook things like that and this film is a very good one, with a final scene that brings the film full circle and in doing so adds a moment of satisfying humour to the film too.
A Good Woman Is Hard To Find is a dark, compelling, gripping thriller and was a hell of a way to end FrightFest 2019.
A highly recommended film.
Rating: ****1/2 out of 5