Skip to main content

Women Talking: release date, reviews, cast and everything we know about the movie

The Women Talking cast
The cast of Women Talking (Image credit: Michael Gibson/Orion Releasing)

One of the buzziest movies to premiere during the 2022 fall film festivals was Women Talking, a new drama from Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley. With a mostly female cast featuring a number of Oscar-nominated and winning actresses, Women Talking is often part of the conversation when talking about awards contenders.

Here is everything that we know about Women Talking.

When is the Women Talking release date?

Women Talking premieres for the public on December 2 in the US. A UK release date hasn’t been announced, but the movie is screening as part of the BFI London Film Festival, taking place from October 5-16. 

See what other new movies are still to come in 2022.

What is the Women Talking plot?

Here is the official synopsis for Women Talking:

"In 2010, the women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith."

We can gather a bit more about the plot as the movie is based on the novel Women Talking by Miriam Toews (opens in new tab). The book, released in 2018, is set in a Mennonite community and sees these women conducting a secret meeting in a hayloft to discuss the revelation that they are being drugged and abused by the men in their colony.

Who is in the Women Talking cast?

There are some major names making up the cast of Women Talking

Headlining the mostly female ensemble are Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Claire Foy (The Crown), Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter) and Frances McDormand (Nomadland). They are joined in the cast by: 

  • Judith Ivey as Agata
  • Emily Mitchell as Miep Friesen
  • Kate Hallett as Autje
  • Liv McNeil as Neitje
  • Shelia McCarthy as Greta
  • Michelle McLeod as Mejal
  • Kira Guloien as Anna
  • Shayla Brown as Helena
  • Vivien Endicott Douglas as Clara

Also part of the cast is Ben Whishaw (This Is Going to Hurt) as August Epp. 

Women Talking reviews — what the critics are saying

Women Talking played both the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, where critics got to give their first takes on the movie. The early word has been strong for the #MeToo drama.

Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) currently (as of September 19) scores that movie as 89% "Fresh;" over on Metacritic (opens in new tab), another review aggregator, it’s scoring an 80.

Here are some snippets from Women Talking reviews:

Sarah Miller, SlashFilm (opens in new tab): "Moments of levity and joy twinkle throughout the crackling, tense narrative, endearing the characters to us viewers."

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times (opens in new tab): "Women Talking gathers extraordinary emotional force, and also something more: genuine spiritual weight."

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab): "There’s a deep vein of humor and humanity that Polley and her actors mine from the text, and something quietly mesmerizing in their meticulous world-building."

Is there a Women Talking trailer?

We’re still waiting on the first trailer for Women Talking. When one is available we’ll share it here. 

Who is director Sarah Polley?

Sarah Polley began her career as an actress who starred in movies like The Sweet Hereafter, eXistenZ and Dawn of the Dead. However, she hasn’t acted in a movie or TV show since 2010 as she has devoted her career to writing and directing.

Polley’s feature directing debut was the movie Away from Her, which was nominated for two Oscars: Best Actress for Julie Christie and Best Adapted Screenplay for Polley. She followed that up with the Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen movie Take This Waltz and then the deeply personal documentary Stories We Tell.

Polley also wrote and directed the Netflix miniseries Alias Grace.

Women Talking poster

(Image credit: Orion Releasing)

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.