THE WOMAN KING
* * * * ½
(Exciting, Passionate, Emotional, Historical, Violent, Epic)
Rhode Island’s own Viola Davis adds another feather to her already crowded cap with a stunning performance as the title character in this epic drama about the leader of female warriors who train relentlessly to defeat their rivals.
The tribe has two leaders -- a man and a woman -- who train and fight equally.
Taken from history, the film uses some poetic license to make for an action-packed, but also personally emotion-packed scenes that have you cheering for the Agojies.
Thuso Mbedu plays the young Nawi, taken in by Nanisca (Davis) who sees many of her own traits in the trainee.
We learn that their tribe trades in slavery of their own people, who are treated brutally. Nanisca, who cares for her people, tries desperately to convince the Agojie leaders to end the practice, trading their major commodity, palm oil, instead.
We watch the young women go through arduous training, as they prepare for battle and eventually go into battle.
Davis is amazing, showing her strength in combat, plus her compassion for the young women she sends into battle.
I don’t know if she has any more room on her shelves for another award, but think “Oscar” for her performance.
SEE HOW THEY RUN
* * * Joyce) * * (Don)
Ah. The English. How they love their murder mystery!
This has a group of actors putting on Agatha Christie’s classic “The Mousetrap.”
One of them is murdered backstage.
Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan play detective and “bobby” assigned to solve the case.
Joyce loved the tongue-in-cheek British humor and pokes at the genre, while I missed some of it coming from the shrill, heavy accented Ronan.
There are flashbacks that give hints to the murderer, revealing motive and method.
If you like farces, a bit of over-acting, and can handle the thick accents, you, like Joyce, will enjoy this one.