There’s a point in these movies, usually fairly early, when the protagonist should really just call the police. You know the movies I’m talking about. The ones where a bad decision leads to a violent thriller. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find, an Irish “bad decision leads to a violent thriller”, sets itself up nicely enough. We meet the lead character, we understand just enough about her to understand her first bad decision or two, and then things get underway. At which point she runs roughshod over about five or six times when she should really just call the police. She doesn’t, of course, because that would cut short the running time.
Once you accept that the script simply won’t allow for calling the police, you’re in pretty good hands because Sarah Bolger carries the movie far more capably than her pretty looks might suggest. As she navigates the downward spiral of bad choices, she wears her vulnerability well, looking tired and wan and terrified. And when it comes time for the pay-off, courtesy of a handful of absurd contrivances, she gets where she needs to go with steely-eyed clarity and strength. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find (I suspect the title is simply a matter of Flannery O’Connor being an awfully Irish name) is directed with bursts of audacity and far too many drone shots of Belfast, but it’s ultimately about watching Bolger carry a mediocre script. A good woman might be hard to find, but as long as you’ve found an actress as good as Bolger, your movie will be fine.