If you’re going to steal, steal from the best. Well, maybe that’s not fair. Its possibly not this film that was doing the stealing (one has to point a suspicious finger towards the original novel written by A.J. Finn that this film is based on) but that being the case, visually this film is so wholly indebted to a certain directors filmography its almost brutal; there is no subtlety at all. They even have clips of some Hitchcock films playing on the in-movie television screens as if there’s some knowing in-joke that might escape us. Don’t worry, we get it.
There’s also something sad about A-list Hollywood talent, in front of and behind the camera, slumming in a C-list movie (I write that with all due respect to Liam Neeson). It generally results in a very pretty, stylish, visually sophisticated film with high production values with very good actors in very underwritten roles uttering banal dialogue from a derivative, seen-it-all-before-in-better-movies script. Which so entirely sums up The Woman in the Window that I really don’t need to write anything more. Amy Adams tries, I guess, although her better roles seem to threaten to fade into obscurity considering some of her later role choices, and Julianne Moore is really good, but the rest, most notably Gary Oldman who clearly seems to be wishing he was someplace else (we’re with you on that, Gary), well, its pretty dire stuff on the thespian front.
Most damning of all… well, if you’re going to steal, come up to the bat and offer at least one reason why you think you’re worthy of stealing from a classic like Rear Window, some modern twist other than changing the sex of the protagonist. You don’t just put Amy Adams in the Jimmy Stewart role with agoraphobia instead of a broken leg and think that’s twist enough, in a film as redundant as the Christopher Reeve 1998 Rear Window tv-movie remake (albeit I’ll always give Reeve his a pass), and think that your modern production tricks can supplant Hitchcock. Because it can’t and you won’t.