Road to the Oscars 2023: Sarah Polley says people hear ‘Women Talking’ differently than ’12 Angry Men’


Three generations of women in a religious colony convene to chart out their futures in Sarah Polley’s Women Talking. The film is up for two Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards – picking up the coveted Best Picture nomination, as well as a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The recognition means a lot to Polley, who tells ABC Audio about one of the biggest challenges she faced in getting to this point.

“People hear the title Women Talking differently than they hear a title like 12 Angry Men,” Polley says. “For some reason, the very act of women talking sounds offensive to some people. So, I think, just getting people to watch it is the biggest challenge.”

Polley says she never expected this kind of reception for her film.

“I’m just sort of enjoying every second of this. I mean, we didn’t know if we were going to end up part of this at all,” Polley says. “It’s really such a gift, the whole experience, I mean, truly.”

And while Women Talking focuses on hardships that the colony’s women faced, Polley says the story is universal and, in the end, hopeful.

“The film is ultimately for everybody. It’s for, you know, people from every background, every gender,” Polley said. “I think it was really exciting to realize that enough people had seen it and had responded to it to end up here today.”

The 95th annual Academy Awards ceremony airs Sunday, March 12, only on ABC.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.