I think it has become quite clear in recent years that we are living in a golden age for entertainment. The best streaming services are consistently serving up classics (even if they are cracking down on password sharing) and this month it's Amazon Prime Video and not Netflix that has me making time to sit down and watch one of my favourites.
To be honest, after reading the excellent book by Miriam Toews I knew this was a must-watch, but just looking at the stacked cast would have been enough. Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw and Oscar-winner Frances McDormand could carry most movies alone, but having them share the screen is a rare treat.
Don't head into this movie expecting something lighthearted, however. This is the story of a group of Mennonite women's response to some of the most appalling actions imaginable by their fathers, sons, friends and brothers.
Set almost entirely in the loft of a farmhouse, this movie feels almost like a play as the women vote and debate on one of three actions while the men are away. Stay and fight, do nothing, or leave. The sole man present is schoolteacher August (Ben Whishaw), the only one literate enough to take notes. It all sounds positively medieval, which is emphasised by the film's muted colour palette, but this is a story set in 2010, and loosely based on a series of atrocities committed in the 00s.
Despite the subject matter, there is a sprinkling of dark humour throughout but it never detracts from the message being put across, or the stakes of the women's decision. The debate is thorough and philosophical. If they are to leave, should they bring the male children? At what age are they too corrupted to come along?
This isn't easy-watching but it is essential watching. Buckley in particular is heart-wrenching as Mariche and a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score should tell you enough about the talent both in front of and behind the camera here.
Women Talking releases on Prime Video on August 28th.