In A Vigilante, Olivia Wilde tackles the very daunting role of a domestic abuse survivor named Sadie. Throughout the film, we get to see pieces of Sadie’s journey through getting back to what she can call life. There is a distinct level of authenticity in this film that cannot be denied. It is a raw and emotional film with females in front of and behind the camera, which lends itself to being truly representative of the female voice and female experience. After leaving her husband, Sadie tries to put the pieces back together and in the process becomes a vigilante hell-bent on freeing women from the same struggles she faced with her abusive and missing husband.
Olivia Wilde carries this film on her shoulders, and that is a miraculous thing. The film consists of a lot of really tight shots that rely mostly on the emotion or lack of presented in Sadie’s face. Olivia Wilde does this with pure perfection. Wilde is emotionally raw and painfully honest in her performance. The scene in which she has a panic attack is so shocking and moves the audience. Each tiny detail of her expression or the way she moves her eyes or even takes a breath shows a talent and restraint that can’t be made. It is natural talent and raw vulnerability. The supporting cast is great, especially the real domestic abuse survivors featured in the film. In one scene, one of the survivors tells Sadie that she needs to fight back for those who can’t and those who will die today, and tomorrow and the day after that. This is easily one of the most inspirational and emotional scenes in the entire film. Straight from the mouth of a survivor, she is reminded that she must fight.
Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s directorial debut is nothing short of spectacular. Her honesty and ease in capturing a story with such intensity and emotion seemed to be second nature. Through the film, she shows the different stages of strong women working to get their lives back together. In a film that challenges the audience to view women not only as victims but as survivors, warriors, and heroes; Sarah Dagger-Nickson gives strength to those stories and inspires the audience.
A Vigilante is a gritty and emotionally raw film with a career-high performance by Olivia Wilde. The combination of Olivia Wilde and Sarah Daggar-Nickson is pure magic leaving us with a message of strength, survival, and the resilience of women.