A Good Woman is Hard to Find Movie Review
A Good Woman is Hard to Find, according to director Abner Pastoll. I suppose it depends on your definition.
Sarah Bolger plays the title part in this tight, riveting revenge thriller that has the title character, also named Sarah for simplicity’s sake, seeking justice for her husband, who was killed by a local mob boss for reasons unclear. Unlike a lot of revenge thrillers, Good Woman takes a less common route to its presumably bloody finale, introducing a sense of unpredictability and originality to the story.
Bolger is terrific as she nearly single-handedly carries the film on her shoulders. Her evolution from meek widower to assertive killer plays incredibly smoothly given the fat-free 97-minute running time. Credit should also be given to Ronan Blaney’s script, which effortlessly blends the character-driven nature of the story with several bursts of violence and suspense to satiate simpler-minded folks such as myself.
As someone who generally prefers their revenge films violent and bloody, I surprisingly found the movie’s first half--leading up to a major pivot point in the story--the stronger of the two. Bolger’s attempts to navigate her precarious world, and the introduction of a less-than-desirable individual named Tito (Andrew Simpson), are compelling to say the least.
Once the movie switches into crime mode, as Pastoll begins to set the stage for Sarah’s ultimate actions, it lags just a little, if only because the ways Sarah connects the dots doesn’t feel quite as organic as in the early parts of the film. In short, the second half isn’t as interesting, nor is it as important in Sarah’s progression toward discovering her “new her.”
A Good Woman is Hard to Find is a taut little film that arguably works better as a character drama than revenge thriller, but nonetheless delivers on both in satisfying ways. Not quite essential cinema, it certainly makes the case that the title isn’t entirely accurate: Sarah is, after all, easy to find.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.