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Film Review: “The Wolf Hour” (2019) ★★★


Naomi Watts is one of the finest actresses. Her way of interpretation of any character she portrays, whether it is Betty from “Mulholland Drive”, Lesley from “Birdman” or Jean Holloway from the cancelled Netflix show “Gypsy” is as good as a film itself. “The Wolf Hour” was the second film I watched at Sundance (she appears in “Luce” as well), and quite frankly, I had no desire of missing it. And by the time when I finished watching it, it was clear that only Naomi Watts could have provided an insight to that pure perfection which cannot be created without isolation created by the human brain.

It is July 1977, June Leigh, once a famous bestselling writer of “The Patriarch”, finds herself in a small apartment in South Bronx, the streets of which remind of a war zone. As she’s alone, every time someone rings the buzzer or people knock on the door, she refuses to open the door to anyone due to her severe paranoia. And no matter what happens, even if the world turns upside down, nothing can beat her anxiety or the fear that something may happen.

She is listening to the radio when the radio host warns women with dark long hair that there is a serial killer targeting women in Bronx. June, in the meantime, keeps missing her deadline to deliver the new novel. She always runs out money, and quite frankly, her small flat we can imagine smells terrible by just looking at its condition or judging by the number of cigarettes she smokes every day. She also does not have much visitors, except Freddie (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a delivery boy we are yet to figure out whether we should trust him or not.

Overall, written and directed by Alistair Banks Griffin, “The Wolf Hour” is a slow paced psychological thriller with an exceptionally written character that allows Naomi Watts to shine throughout. Her appearance in every scene, the sign of fear in June is so visible, thanks to Watts’ mesmerizing performance, you will fall for June and sympathize or even feel bad for her even more. That said, “The Wolf Hour” is a slow-paced drama that’s worthwhile seeing not only because of Naomi Watts, but due to its interesting concept you will find interesting to explore further.

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