Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Lou: Allison Janney surprises in this nail biter

Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett in Lou

Lou is a tense thriller, almost a two-hander, with Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett. It’s a suspense filled chase for a kidnapped child across rugged terrain.

Lou has a few hard-to-believe plot points. Depending on how willing you are to suspend disbelief, you will either love the excitement of this movie or it will make you yell at the TV about improbable events.

Jurnee Smollett in Lou

Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) and her daughter Vee (an excellent Ridley Asha Bateman) rent an isolated cabin on the San Juan Islands from the crabby and aloof Lou (Allison Janney).

On a night when a bad storm hits, a man kidnaps Vee and runs with her. He leaves notes that inform Hannah that the kidnapper is Vee’s father, Philip (Logan Marshall-Green). Hannah thought he was dead.

The power goes out. Hannah runs to Lou’s house to use the phone, which doesn’t work. Together they set off to follow Philip and get Vee back.

Allison Janney in Lou

Lou loads up guns, knives, food, first aid, and more as they set off. They track Philip through a raging storm, at night, across muddy terrain as easily as fallowing a trail across wet concrete. Lou’s dog Jax is a help in many ways.

They struggle against all kinds of obstacles as they race to rescue Vee. The secrets start to come out. We learn what Lou did in her former life and why she’s so good with a gun, knife, and tracking. We learn about Hannah and Philip’s marriage and what kind of bad guy he is. The women, who never had two kind words to say to each other before, begin to bond in the quest to save Vee.

Lou turns out to be a kick ass fighting machine. Hannah is smarter than you think. And Philip – well, I won’t tell you about Philip because it’s a spoiler.

Directed by Anna Foerster and gorgeously shot by Michael McDonough, Lou is full of excitement and danger. The surprises and twists are always a treat. It’s a fun thriller, especially if you don’t get too particular over the details.

I really enjoyed seeing Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett working together in this. Mostly sopping wet, mostly caked in mud, and mostly determined as hell to save Vee, they were an unstoppable team. The character Lou is a surprising woman, and it’s even more surprising to see Allison Janney take on a part like this. At 62 years old, Allison Janney is a prime example of my mantra that #EldersRock.

I suggest you give this one on Netflix a try for a bit of good, old fashioned excitement. In case you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is.

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8 responses to “Lou: Allison Janney surprises in this nail biter”

  1. i gotta admit, i didnt see how Ms. Janney could lead an action film, not bc she is a woman or older (my age) but bc i’ve never seen her in anything like this movie. now i want to see her in a series of movies based on this character. i love how this movie played on all sorts of expectations. and it takes place in my neck of the woods, so to speak (if folks ever visit WA, they really should find time to take a ferry to the San Juan Islands). it was a fun film.

    • That’s a great idea to have her make more films as this character. I liked the way Jax gave her away at the end.

      I’m also happy to see older stars take on physically daunting roles like Halle Berry as a boxer or Viola Davis as a warrior queen. Maybe it’s a sign that Hollywood is finally realizing that older women can lead all kinds of lives.

  2. you would sure think the studios would get that there are lots of us baby boomers still around and we want to see movies with people our age as leads. not throwing shade at young folks – i dont miss a superhero movie – i watch movies to see interesting stories about real people with whom i might share some characteristics or experiences. those people are generally my age.

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