And there was also such a promise. Director Joe Wright (“Atonement”, “Pride & Prejudice”) exhibits many of his gaudy camera instincts, making Adams’ character’s Manhattan Brownstone feel both cavernous and claustrophobic. Gifted filmmaker Bruno Delbonnel (“Inside Llewyn Davis”, “A Very Long Engagement”) lights up the rooms of his home in screaming pinks and cool blues, reflecting both his mania and his loneliness. And still-brilliant screenwriter and co-star Tracy Letts, adapting AJ Finn’s 2018 hit novel, sets a lively tone with rat-a-tat dialogue at the top. These exchanges let us know that Adams’ Anna Fox has managed to maintain her sense of humor, despite her depression and agoraphobia.
A psychologist who suffered from depression, Anna cocooned herself with food delivery, classic movies, and a regular regimen of prescription drugs and red wine. (Wright uses some cool dioptric shots with the TV in the background and an extreme close-up of Anna’s face in the foreground for an unsettling, DePalmaesque touch.) But the mix of substances and isolation makes his perspective unreliable. the beginning, which means that title cards showing the days of the week are only useful to the public. Again, who among us has not felt the weather has been a flat circle over the past year?
“Tell me to get out,” she begs in one of the many phone calls with her ex-husband (Anthony Mackie), who is also the father of her baby girl and the film’s Greek choir of sorts. He patiently answers: “Why not make today the day you go out?” But that’s not the case, and it’s Letts, as a therapist, who comes to see her. The rhythm of their sessions and the repetition of certain sentences, coupled with the solitary place, make these first moments of “The woman at the window” a play in the best possible way. Adams reveals his character’s instability through tremors of panic and manic sneers, but with a fundamental wisdom underneath. It’s the kind of perfected technique we’ve come to expect throughout his eclectic career.