Review by Sean Boelman
A brutal little thriller, Abner Pastoll’s newest film A Good Woman is Hard to Find offers a stylish riff on the exploitation genre. Even if not all of its story threads are fully developed, Pastoll’s great sense of style makes this throwback flick with a modern edge worth your time and money.
The movie follows a recently widowed young mother as she tries to protect her children and find out the truth behind her husband’s murder, two goals which become increasingly difficult and intertwined. Part brutal revenge thriller and part mystery, the film tries to do a lot in its short runtime, but is still mostly entertaining nevertheless.
Admittedly, the revenge aspect of the storyline does take a bit of time to get moving, but once it does, it kicks into overdrive and is a ton of fun to watch. The last forty-five minutes or so of the movie are brutal and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, and worth the wait through a rather uneventful first half.
The mystery elements of the film are where it starts to fall short. The husband’s murder is a conventional motivation, and the investigation into it simply isn’t very cinematic. While this would have been more acceptable had Ronan Blaney’s script leaned a bit more into the emotional elements of the story, the focus here is on the more entertaining of the storylines.
The protagonist of the movie is certainly compelling, and Sarah Bolger gives a wonderful performance in her lead role. Somehow she is able to feel both vulnerable and extremely intimidating at the same time, delivering a performance that feels perfectly fit to pay homage to the classics of the genre
That said, the supporting characters in the film aren’t as well-written. The antagonists in the movie are shallow, uninteresting, and not particularly threatening. Because of this, the stakes aren’t as high or believable as they should be. There’s also a small aside featuring the protagonist’s mother and it doesn’t have much depth at all.
On a technical level, Pastoll’s film is very well-done. There are only a few action sequences in the movie, but they’re wonderful. Pastoll sparingly uses blood and gore, but the brutality is still there from the implications of what is on screen. It’s an effective method of building suspense, and it totally pays off in this case.
A Good Woman is Hard to Find starts a bit slowly, but for the most part, it’s a fun and intense ride. Genre enthusiasts will find a lot to love here with great visuals and some brief but truly phenomenal action sequences.
A Good Woman is Hard to Find hits VOD and virtual cinema offerings on May 8.