I don't feel the need to continue to defend Lucky McKee's difficult and demanding new film "The Woman," because I think audiences will figure it out on their own. By now, you may have heard about the infamous first screening of the movie at the festival and the tumultuous events afterward, but what you may not have heard is how much better the second screening went.
Part of that is because the hubbub from the first screening kickstarted the conversation about the film, and whether you like the movie or not, at least you'll walk into it now with some sort of context for what you're about to see. I wanted to help extend that conversation a bit, and so one of the last things I did at the festival was make sure we spent some time talking to Lucky and his lead actress, the lovely and unusual Pollyanna McIntosh.
I've already had several e-mails and comments on the site attacking the notion that a film like "The Woman" could be feminist, but I don't even think that's up for debate. It may not be a comfortable, easy feminism that the film articulates, but there is no doubt in my mind that the movie is meant to create a feeling in the viewer that matches the unbearable powerlessness that many women feel every day of their lives.
And to illustrate just how bizarre Sundance can be, this interview was taped about a half-hour after I finished talking to Elmo. From the most adorable little red monster in the world to the gender politics of "The Woman," Park City really was a wonderful way to kick off the film year, and I'm sure we'll continue these conversations over the rest of 2011.
In the meantime, I highly recommend you do a Google search and read a wide range of reactions to the film, because even the ones who hated it outright seem to have been affected by it in some way. I love it when a movie sparks this kind of passion in viewers, and I suspect no one who sees it will walk away feeling bored by it.
We'll have word on a distributor as soon as McKee locks one down, and I sincerely hope that's sooner rather than later.