Canada | 2022 | 104 mins | 14A
Screening supports Women’s Habitat, which since 1978 has provided help and shelter for women and their children fleeing domestic abuse.
We are thrilled to welcome actor Sheila McCarthy to a special fund-raising screening of Sarah Polley’s Women Talking Sunday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the Revue Cinema. Sheila, who has been honoured with many awards for her work, will join us on Zoom from Stratford, where she is directing a play with the Here for Now Theatre company. All proceeds from our event will go to Women’s Habitat, an emergency shelter and outreach centre in Etobicoke for more than four decades. Admission to the theatre is by donation.
Despite her long list of credits in film, TV and on stage, Sheila confesses to being starstruck by the remarkable cast assembled for Women Talking, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand (also one of the producers) and Ben Wishaw.
“I was so fangirl with the cast at first and that was daunting to get over,” Sheila told Variety.
Two weeks of rehearsals helped her move on and embrace the challenging production, which she describes as “the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on and the most rewarding.”
The film’s focus is timely in the era of me-too: A group of women in an isolated Mennonite community debate their next move in the face of years of violent rape by and complicity of their men folk.
Sheila plays Greta Loewen, an elder among the women and girls. She brings a quietness and wisdom “like a good grade school teacher” to their discussion of whether to stay or leave their abusive environment. Greta also lightens the atmosphere with her gentle humour.
Sarah Polley won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for her dramatization of Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name. Women Talking also earned a Best Picture nomination.
For Sheila, the film reveals how sharing stories and talking about the bad things that have happened make it easier to cope. “Out of that comes hope,” she said in her Variety interview.
The film is beautifully shot in a wide-aspect ratio, suggesting the beauty of the community’s rural life, the shadowy grim irony of the brutal abuse and the epic nature of the women’s decision to leave the only world they had ever known.
Back Lane Studios Note: This event is co-sponsored Women’s Habitat, Back Lane Studios and The Revue.
We are particularly grateful to Sheila for taking part. Women’s Habitat had thought it had connected with Sarah Polley about the screening, but the exchange was most likely with a false account. We apologize for the misunderstanding: A cautionary tale in the era of social media!
*Revue Membership Benefits Are Not Applicable For This Event.
Director: Sarah Polley
Cast: Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara