If you haven't heard the buzz about Widows by now, then you should know it's a beautifully layered heist movie with a group of actresses giving their best performances — and that includes Olivia the dog. While I wouldn't be surprised if Viola Davis gets a nod for her portrayal of Veronica, the widow saddled with a $2 million debt after her husband dies in a botched heist, I'm beginning my campaign now for a Best Supporting Dog category, because Olivia, Veronica's pet Westie, takes the cake.
One of Olivia's first memorable scenes occurs when Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) visits Veronica's house and informs her that she has a month to pay back the $2 million her husband stole from him. To show he means business, he gives Olivia a threatening squeeze that prompts Veronica to keep the dog by her side for pretty much the rest of the film. She's with her in the abandoned warehouse where she and Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) are planning to raid Jack Mulligan's (Colin Farrell) home, she's with her when she pays a visit to another widow's home and discovers the film's shocking twist, and she gets dropped off at a dog-sitting service just before the heist begins in case Veronica doesn't make it.
"The dog was in Lynda La Plante's original [story] so we need to bow down to that," screenwriter Gillian Flynn said during a Q&A on November 9 in New York City. "The idea that she couldn't express much emotion towards humans but that she could express emotions towards this dog who couldn't talk back to her, but that she could kind of lavish. And boy, what a dog. C'mon."
"The dog softens her a little bit," screenwriter and director Steve McQueen added. "That dog plays a huge important part in her life — she lost her husband, she lost her son. That's all she has."
Flynn even jokes that if Olivia could drive, "the other widows would not have been called upon. She would have done that heist with Olivia."
Possible premise for Widows 2?
Widows is in theaters today.