Review: Woman Walks Ahead


Title: Woman Walks Ahead
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Susanna White
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Sam Rockwell
Runtime: 1 hr 41 mins

What It Is: New Yorker and portrait artist Catherine Weldon (Chastain) travels to Dakota in order to try and paint the legendary Lakota warrior Sitting Bull (Greyeyes). It isn’t the best time, for several reasons. Chief among them the land dispute going on between the United States and the Lakota people. Being a woman in the 1890’s she was already subjected to many forms of discrimination. Being a woman in the “west” during this time was even more difficult. Now she’ll face many trials and tribulations in order to paint this elusive figure.

What We Think: Chastain gives her typically good performance. For me, Michael Greyeyes is stellar and brings up the material he’s given. I don’t find White to be a particularly strong presence behind the lens. What I mean by this is that the film is not well directed and her stamps being felt could’ve helped. This is a film that needed a stronger presence. The story being told isn’t all that interesting given the story behind the whole thing. At least it looks sorta like 1890, even if the story is a mess.

Our Grade: C-, Meh. That’s what this film left me feeling. Just meh. No super enlightened, or moved experience. It’s cool to see Chastain take on a period piece of this sort, but her spotty accents hurt the film. Even if she’s acting her butt off. It’s no Molly’s Game for sure. Check this out only if this story interest you, which it probably doesn’t. I’ll tell you there’s just not enough to hold you here. I know that White is capable of more. Have you seen Generation Kill? If you haven’t you for sure should.

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