“Women Talking” is just weeks away from hitting theaters. “Where I come from, where your mother comes from, we didn’t talk about our bodies,” we’re told in a new trailer for Sarah Polley’s highly anticipated awards contender. Based on Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name, “Women Talking” is inspired by real events and tells the story of a remote religious colony in crisis. A series of attacks have been perpetuated against the the community’s girls and women. In the wake of widespread sexual assault, the women band together to decide their future. “We hardly knew how to read or write, but that day we learned how to vote,” a voiceover explains. They are choosing between three different options: do nothing, stay and fight, or leave.
One woman worries that they will “forfeit” their place in heaven depending on which route they go. Another fears that she’ll “become a murderer” if she stays.
“I imagined this film in the realm of a fable,” Polley reveals in her director’s statement. “While the story in the film is specific to a small religious community, I felt that it needed a large canvas, an epic scope through which to reflect the enormity and universality of the questions raised in the film. To this end, it felt imperative that the visual language of the film breathe and expand. I wanted to feel in every frame the endless potential and possibility contained in a conversation about how to remake a broken world.”
“Women Talking’s” ensemble cast includes Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, and Claire Foy. McDormand is a four-time Oscar winner who was last seen in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Mara landed nods for “Carol” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Buckley was nominated for best supporting actress this year for “The Lost Daughter.” Foy won an Emmy for “The Crown.”
Polley’s feature directing debut, 2006’s “Away From Her,” landed her an Oscar nod for adapted screenplay. Her other films include 2011 Michelle Williams-starrer “Take This Waltz” and 2012 doc “Stories We Tell.” Polley received a DGA Award nomination for the latter. “Dawn of the Dead” and “The Sweet Hereafter” are among her on-screen credits.
“Women Talking” hits select theaters December 25 and opens wide January 20.