Sienna Miller Is Electric In ‘American Woman’–an Astounding Portrayal Of Grief, Loss & Betrayal
Grief, loss, and betrayal can feel suffocating, American Woman shows just how consuming these emotions can be. The film follows Deb (Sienna Miller), a young mother and grandmother trying to live her best life. Having been a single mom since she was 16, at 33–Deb’s sole concern is fun. She’s and entangled in an affair with a married man, much to the annoyance of her straight-laced–overbearing mother, Peggy (Amy Madigan) and her uber protective and polar-opposite older sister, Kathy (Christina Hendricks). When she’s not indulging in her forbidden relationship, she’s babysitting her toddler grandson for her 17-year-old daughter, Bridget (Sky Ferreira). When the film opens, Deb is experiencing a real sense of freedom for the first time in her adult life, and she disregards anyone who wants to spoil her fun.
Tragically, Deb’s entire world shatters when Bridget doesn’t come home one evening–effectively vanishing off the face of the earth. Paralyzed by the loss, we watch Deb try to cope with her grief while taking on the newfound responsibility of her grandson, Jesse. At first, she’s frantic, lashing out at her mother and berating Jesse’s teenage stoner father for his treatment of her daughter–but as time moves forward, she must confront herself and her own missteps.
What stands out most in American Woman is the bond that Deb and Kathy have with one another. So often in film, women with different personalities and perspectives on life are pitted against one another, but that’s not the case here. Though they live across the street from one another and often grate each other’s last nerve, Deb finds solace in her big sister, her protective brother-in-law, Terry (Will Sasso) and the stability of their household juxtaposed against her more chaotic one.
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