Sarah Bolger (Emelie- 2015) gives a career defining performance as a struggling, widowed mother of two in- 2015) gritty revenge thriller, A Good Woman is Hard to Find.
Set in a crime-ridden area of Northern Ireland, grief-stricken Sarah struggles to make ends meet while caring for her young children in the aftermath of her husband’s tragic death which was witnessed by her little boy rendering him mute. Her world is further turned upside down when she becomes unwittingly embroiled in the shady dealings of an intimidating drug-dealer who nastily forces her into hiding narcotics he’s stolen from the local kingpin. Out of her depth, Sarah must do everything in her power to protect her children while uncovering the truth behind her husband’s devastating murder.
A Good Woman is Hard to Find is an intense character driven British-style kitchen sink drama which descends into some extremely dark places. Sarah Bolger is astonishing in her performance as a vulnerable young woman who resorts to drastic measures to keep the ones, she loves safe. At the beginning there’s a Ken Loach-esque social realist feel to the piece as we witness Sarah struggle financially and treated with contempt by a bigoted, judgemental supermarket worker. Soon, events take a disturbing and violent turn, remaining unrelentingly harrowing throughout. It’s a film that will take your breath away, leaving the audience on a knife-edge compelled to see which trajectory it will take next.
The film will seem familiar narrative-wise, as it features several recognisable tropes that are chained to the thriller genre especially within the murky, criminal underbelly that is portrayed. Bolger’s seminal performance is what keeps the unfolding plot compelling as she makes her character effortlessly empathetic especially in the scenes with her children. She demonstrates both vulnerability and strength creating a layered and dynamic character to root for.
Andrew Simpson also gives a standout performance as Tito, the unsettling drug-dealer who has barged his way into Sarah’s home. The scenes between them are nail-biting with escalating tension simmering when they’re on screen together. There are some real fingers in front of the eyes moments when watching them, waiting for the bubbling pressure cooker to erupt.
The film is well-paced and does not drag or feel monotonous at any point, with sweeping aerial shots of the council estate and the surrounding area transitioning between scenes ensuring that the film flows along seamlessly.
A Good Woman is Hard to Find deals with exceptionally tough subject matters, providing a realistic social commentary amidst all the horror and disturbing violence, tackling issues from poverty to female degradation. It isn’t an easy watch but certainly manages to resonate long after viewing.
A thought-provoking, chill-inducing, unwavering piece of gritty genre cinema, the world premiere of A Good Woman is Hard to Find closes Arrow Video Frightfest’s 20th year on Monday the 26th August at Cineworld, Leicester Square and will be without a doubt a heart-pounding way to bring such a momentous year for the iconic British horror festival to a goryfying finish.
Signature Entertainment presents A Good Woman is Hard to Find in Cinemas and Digital HD 25th October 2019