A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I'm Your Woman is a 1970s-set crime syndicate drama told from the point of view of a woman named Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) who didn't fully understand that she was married to the mob. It's like the B-side of The Godfather. While this concept has previously been explored in Widows and The Kitchen, this film is a coming-of-age story of sorts about a sheltered young woman coming into her own power. Part of that is an awareness of her White privilege, which comes authentically from her finding protection with a Black family. Women are continually shown as supportive to one another, including in circumstances where it might be unexpected. At one point, Jean's husband gives her a baby, and it's unclear how he obtained the infant (the info viewers get is unreliable). Compared to other mob dramas, this one is notably restrained. While guns are used to kill and gunfire erupts at a nightclub (shown from the point of view of someone caught in the middle of the chaos), it's less than the norm and is given real impact -- viewers feel the horror every time a gun goes off. While smoking is prevalent -- as it truly was in the '70s -- it's presented under the context that it's unhealthy. Language includes a few uses of "f--k," and there's occasional drinking and kissing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Set in the 1970s, I'M YOUR WOMAN follows Jean (Rachel Brosnahan), a young housewife and brand new mother. Her quiet life is disrupted when she's awakened in the middle night by her husband's colleagues and told she's in danger. She and her baby go on the run with a driver (Arinze Kene) who's been assigned to keep her safe.
Is it any good?
Husband-and-wife filmmaking team Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz turn the gritty mafia movie upside down with this completely enthralling drama. Usually, when movies are made about a mob "family," the term refers to the network of those working under one mob boss. I'm Your Woman focuses on a mafia member's actual family. And in revealing how that family's lives are up-ended in the wake of one person's crime and violence, director Hart delivers the opposite of The Godfather, Scarface, or Goodfellas in every way. There's no celebration of organized crime here. There's no implication that power obtained through guns and violence is cool or that money acquired in such a way creates a better life. Here, guns have weight, literally. Gunfire isn't just felt emotionally felt: Hart delivers a visceral experience so that viewers can almost feel how heavy the gun is in Jean's hand or pocket, establishing an uncomfortable feeling of lurking danger.
Jean isn't totally innocent, but she starts as a bit of a ninny. She lounges around in her posh but not extravagant house, dreaming of having a baby because, as a wife in the early '70s, that's what she expected from life. She's a blank-slate beauty, the product of an old-school White patriarchal environment where she hasn't been given guidance or encouragement to develop skills, an education, or a personality -- because why would she need those things? And because of that, she doesn't believe in asking questions; she finds security in a husband who loves and takes care of her, including when he just shows up with a baby and declares that it's theirs, saying "it's all worked out." In other words, Jean is weak. But when the rug is pulled out from under her, instead of buckling and behaving in a way that would result in her getting killed, Jean now has this baby to protect. She hasn't internally accepted him as hers yet, but she must keep him, and therefore herself, safe. Brosnahan deftly shows the gradual evolution of a woman realizing she must find her strength and exceed her own expectations. She proves again that she is truly a "marvelous" actress, and I'm Your Woman is an excellent option for older teens as a counter to the toxic masculinity of so many "mob muscle" cinema classics.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how I'm Your Woman flips the script on so many all-White, all-male mob movies. How is it similar, and how is it different?
How does the film demonstrate both White privilege and a White person's lack of awareness of its existence?
A growing cinematic trend is to switch the gender or race in stories that were initially written about/centered on White men. Compare this effort to others in a similar boat, such as Ocean's 8 or Hamilton.
How is smoking depicted in a historically accurate manner but with a modern responsibility?
How is swearing used as a character tool? Do you think its use adds value?
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