Women Talking (Blu-ray Review)

When I was making my Top 10 films of 2022 list, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking was one of my very last cuts. Its a terrific film that wound up being pretty silent come awards season chatter whereas it seemed like it was going to be a big player. For the Academy Awards, its been nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Nonetheless, some recognizing is better than none. You’ll be able to bring the film home on standard Blu-ray when it hits the market on March 7th. Unfortunately no 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray at this time, but a physical release is something to be grateful for (I’M STILL WAITING BARBARIAN ON AT LEAST REGULAR BLU-RAY!). The film with a stacked cast full of great performances is available to pre-order now and you can do so by scrolling all the way to the bottom of this page and clicking on the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.


The women of an isolated religious colony reveal a shocking secret about the colony’s men. For years, the men have occasionally drugged the women and then raped them. The truth comes out and the women talk about their new situation.

Simply put, Sarah Polley’s adaption of Miriam Toew’s book is a new exercise on the 12 Angry Men structure. However, while that delves into one man’s innocence or guilt, there are much deeper connotations and actions to be made for an entire belief system in livelihood at play in Women Talking. The thematic emphasis of the abuse of women by men and the power dynamic lopsided in their direction is the most front and center issues here. There’s plenty to be shown about gaslighting in addition to the fact as well. But, there are also deeper issues on who they are as a people, their religious faith, upbringing and way of life getting questioned as well. There’s one issue up front, but from that it stems into a whole problem of systematic abuse of power and uneven treatments of its peoples.

Putting into motion is not one not top tier performance to bring it to life and make these issues felt. The cast pulls conviction in both sides of the arguments, giving credence to the case being submitted and debated in the film. Rooney Mara leads a group with yet another terrific performance to place into her arsenal. Though, the standouts for me here were the combo of Jessie Buckley, who’s been one a tear the past few years, and Claire Foy. Foy brings some incredible heat to this and Buckley an emotional energy to harness it all in for a very rounded outing. And that’s not to forget, Frances McDormand popping in here and effortlessly crushing it.

Sarah Polley continues to put in such admirable work and unique stories to tell as a director. Its a shame she wasn’t given even more praise in the form of a director nomination for this one, but here’s hoping her day is yet to come and not in the super far future. And lets hope its not another 11 years before we get another scripted feature film from here. This latest, Women Talking, is beautifully captured, plays very well in its sandbox, and features outstanding performance from pretty much every woman doing the talking.


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.76:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail Women Talking arrives on standard Blu-ray with a lovely image. The film has a bigger aspect ratio here that plays quite well in the transfer. The overall look of the film has a muted/gray slanting look, but also looks marvelous as it nails such a distinct visual choice. Its a crisp and sharp image and the details are very fine and distinct here. For not being a 4K disc, this is about as far as you could really take this one.

Depth: Depth of field is quite strong and the transfer really compliments Polley’s large scale cinematography that has the barn interior looking huge and the farm land looking like it goes for miles and miles. Character motion is smooth and cinematic and experiences no issues with jittering or blurring with rapid action from the camera or characters.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and almost come to natural levels without being a 4K transfer. There’s excellent work with shadow and nighttime presentations. This image does well with carrying finer details in darker areas like follicles, patterns and textures. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty muted by design. There a nice saturation of them and some blues and greens manage to pop out here and there. But this is meant to almost carry a colorless world-like look to it.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones have a cold/gray tone to them that matches the overall look of the film and is consistent throughout the feature. Facial features and textures are clear as day from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Video Service

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Women Talking comes with the standard 5.1 track. This is a pretty quiet, vocal-heavy movie and the mix does best to have them in the spotlight. However this one has some under appreciate depth and layering with its effects that really give the film a presence. There’s a nice balance here with the vocals, music and said effects that really has a natural spirt to watching the film.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Subwoofer isn’t asked to do a lot, but deeper tones, slamming of doors, some musical bumps and more give a more lived in presence for your viewing space.

Surround Sound Presentation: Good airy ambiance come ruminating from the rear channels. Lots of good offscreen activity capture here. Feels very quiet, country and lived in with this mix. Sound travel is accurate as well as off screen action from angle changes.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Women Talking comes with the DVD edition and a redeemable digital code. There are no bonus features in this release.


Women Talking is quite an enticing drama well worthy of its Academy nominations and then some. While the film comes with a pretty spectacular standard Blu-ray presentation, there are zero extras to be found on the disc. Its a shame as some Sarah Polley input would have been fabulous. Unfortunately, like only getting a standard Blu-ray; it is what it is. Definitely pick this one up at a solid sale price when it comes down if you are interested.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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