The film, set in Chicago and starring Oscar
winner Viola Davis, follows four women left in debt by their
criminal husbands who decide to turn to robbery to get back on
It chronicles their journey from wives who were primarily
supported by their husbands but who overcome the trauma from
past abuse and neglect to develop creative ways to survive.
"It wasn't any gimmickry heist movie. It was women empowering
themselves in their lives and confronting each other and having
to work together," Davis said at the Toronto Film Festival where
"Widows" had its world premiere this weekend.
"What better metaphor is there for women today?" she added.
The women are also played by Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo
and Elizabeth Debicki in a multi-ethnic cast directed by Briton
Steve McQueen, whose powerful historical race drama "12 Years a
Slave" won best picture at the 2014 Oscars.
"It's a film about women, about women learning who they are and
becoming independent. It's about empowerment, it's a film about
corruption and racism and violence, and it's a heist film,"
McQueen said he was inspired to make the film after watching the
1980's British television series of the same name when he was a
teenager. The movie's arrival at a time when women are demanding
more representation and respect in Hollywood and beyond is mere
coincidence, he said.
"It just sort of spoke to me as a 13-year-old black boy in
London," McQueen said. There were "these four women who were
being sort of judged in the way that they can achieve, and
judged by their appearance rather than their character."
"Widows," which also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Daniel
Kaluuya and Robert Duvall, won strong reviews and is already
creating Oscar buzz as Hollywood's long awards season gets under
"The men are fighting for scraps. The women are fighting for
their souls," said Farrell, who plays the deeply flawed and
conflicted politician Tom Mulligan.
"Widows" will be released in North American movie theaters on
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Andrea
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