Hear Helen Roar (Movie Thoughts: I Am Woman)

Unjko Moon’s ‘I Am Woman’ tracks the life of Helen Reddy, and I think most people have forgotten her already, but once upon a time she was a force – the singer who may not have been the hippest, but whose anthem song roused females, and became the theme for the feminist movement.

Musically, I remember more from her, and also once upon a time little me would sing her other big hit ‘You and Me Against The World.’ I realized I knew next to nothing about her life, so I welcomed this film with open arms.

The screenplay, by Emma Jensen, is by-the-books music biography, not dissimilar to VH1’s ‘Behind The Music,’ and no cliche and trope is left untouched. But somehow, I liked a lot of this film still. Tilda Cobham Hervey’s performance as Reddy resonates – she takes command of the screen when she is on, both as an actress and as a singer. The visuals are topnotch – the cinematography and production design take you instantly to the cheesiness of the 70s aesthetic, And Evan Peters as her husband/manager Jeff Wald somehow manages to make a human out of a cardboard character. Against all odds, you will feel for these people, because they feel real – they were. I think perhaps the story and the film could have been tightened (its running time is just short of two hours) but as it is, the film would probably be a crowd-pleaser. It’s not any worse than ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for sure,

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