I Am Woman
The Helen Reddy Story
For someone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, Helen Reddy was a staple of radio and TV. Her most famous song, “I Am Woman” played constantly and was not only one of the most famous feel-good songs, it was the unofficial song of the Women’s movement. However, I was a little nervous to watch this movie because I knew I would compare it to the recent string of movies about famous singers (Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man, and Judy), but fear not “I Am Woman” holds its own amongst these heavy hitters.
In 1966, single-mother Helen Reddy (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) leaves her old life in Australia for New York and stardom, only to find that the industry’s male gatekeepers don’t take her seriously. Helen finds an encouraging friend in legendary rock journalist Lillian Roxon (Danielle Macdonald), who becomes her closest confidant. When ambitious aspiring talent manager Jeff Wald (Evan Peters) sweeps Helen off her feet, everything changes as he becomes both her husband and manager and relocates the family to California. With a strong push from Helen, Jeff secures her a recording contract and subsequent string of hit singles, including the iconic megahit “I Am Woman.” Increased fame leads to added pressures on themselves and their relationship, forcing Helen to find the strength to take control of her own destiny.
There are two things I really liked about this movie, the first is how much actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey looks exactly like Helen Reddy did; it is really uncanny. The second is the acting from both Tilda and Evan peters. Tilda plays Helen exactly how she was, an easy going, driven, charismatic, and down to earth human who was destined for stardom. She really captures her essence from her 20’s to her late 40’s. In recent years, Evan Peters has become one of my favorite actors. In the middle of Season four of American Horror Stories, I decided to see what everyone was talking about and quickly became a fan of the series and of Evan Peters. I have since watched every season, and every year I become a bigger fan of his. It is actually shocking to me that the academy has not noticed him with Emmy Nominations/wins. Specifically his characters of James Patrick March in season 5’s Hotel and Kai Anderson in season 7’s Cult were trophy worthy! Comparing those characters to his Stan Bowes character in season 1 of Pose shows Evan’s range, and he is definitely one I am keeping my eye on for great things. Peter’s plays Helen’s husband Jeff Wald who has a bit of an edge from the onset, but his out of control spiral with drug addiction is captivating to watch.
I never wanted to be an actor (I am a behind the scenes type of guy), but I remember in college taking an acting class as an elective and the teacher said “Acting is reacting,” and the way Tilda and Evan react off of each other is mesmerizing, and makes this movie a must see.
“I Am Woman” is directed very well by Unjoo Moon, is 116 minutes in length, and is releasing September 11th in theaters and on demand.