Fans of green women rejoice as we now have writer/director Kestra Nebula’s The Green Woman. In a house in a quiet neighborhood in Australia, Rommy (Dean Kirkright) is fighting with Mary (Lauren Gregory) again. Mary tells Rommy she is fed up with being the only one going to work every day to support them both. He tells her that he has a paying freelance writing gig at the moment. She yells that he’s drunk all the time. Rommy thinks it suspicious Mary dresses up and stays out all night for “business meetings.” She goes to work while he continues drinking.
Then a green woman (Christine Husband) shows up inside the house. She is very friendly and glad to see Rommy. However, he’s concerned about what Mary would say about finding a green woman in the house. Then the green woman disappears. Rommy goes back to drinking and fighting with his deadline-switching editor. Over the next several days, the green woman appears and disappears while Mary is away. The green woman likes to smoke pot with Rommy and even shows up under his sheets. She needs some favors that require Rommy to start committing thefts around the neighborhood. What does the green woman want, and how far will Rommy go to help her?
The Green Woman was shot in 2015 but didn’t go into post-production until many years later. Since the production started, green women have been popping up all over the media landscape, mostly in Marvel territory. However, the classic pop-culture figure of the green woman is the alien dancer from the old Star Trek show. This is the tradition the filmmaker follows. The shiny silver star suit worn by the green woman is very sci-fi retro. The make-up is thorough and dependable, which is an amazing feat considering this was shot during Australia’s sweat feast summer. The character is the glow-in-the-dark element of what is a very dim and dreary drama. Thank god she shows up ten minutes in, as you first get some very annoying bickering.
“Over the next several days, the green woman appears and disappears while Mary is away.”
It is hard to sympathize with either lead at first. Mary is in the right but obviously doing wrong. Rommy is bottoming out on alcohol, and is leeching off her. But the green woman brightens up things considerably. Nebula’s no-frills production allows the green woman scenes to pop. The camera work is functional, and the art direction unnoticeable, which is the perfect backdrop for a green woman to strut her stuff.
The same contrast plays up in the acting. Kirkright and Gregory put in solid, realistic performances appropriate for the dysfunctional breakdown of their life together. Husband plays the green woman much more broadly, a little reminiscent of The Mask in terms of energy level. It works very well. Husband owns the screen even when she is not on it, as her presence looms over her absences as we wait for her return.
The green woman angle is a good one, even if it gets a fairly simple treatment here. I would have enjoyed a little more development of the concept, some green woman world-building. Maybe a little more ambiguity of her origins, like not knowing if she was a faerie or demon instead of immediately showing her Inter-Planet Janet. Concept development like that could have kept this from feeling like an over-long Twilight Zone episode. However, The Green Woman delivers precisely what it promises, which is rare nowadays.
"…Husband owns the screen even when she is not on it..."