Woman Walks Ahead

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Woman Walks Ahead
Woman Walks Ahead.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySusanna White
Written bySteven Knight
Produced by
CinematographyMike Eley
Edited byLucia Zucchetti
Steven Rosenblum
Music byGeorge Fenton
Distributed by
Release dates
  • September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) (TIFF)
  • June 29, 2018 (2018-06-29) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Lakota
Budget$5 million[1]
Box office$80,912 [2][3]

Woman Walks Ahead is a 2017 American biographical drama Western film directed by Susanna White and written by Steven Knight. The film is the story of Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain), a portrait painter who travels from New York City to the Dakotas in 1890 to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes). Chaske Spencer and Sam Rockwell also star.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival September 10, 2017. It was released through DirecTV Cinema on May 31, 2018, before being released in a limited release on June 29, 2018, by A24.


Catherine Weldon, a Swiss-American portrait painter, travels from Brooklyn, New York to the Dakotas in the 1890s to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull. She becomes embroiled in the Lakota people's struggle over the rights to their land.[4]



On February 3, 2016, it was reported that Jessica Chastain was in talks to play Sitting Bull's confidante in Woman Walks Ahead, directed by Susanna White.[5] On September 14, 2016, Michael Greyeyes, Sam Rockwell, Ciarán Hinds, Chaske Spencer, and Bill Camp joined the cast, with principal photography having begun in New Mexico.[6]


The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2017.[7][8] Shortly after, A24 and DirecTV Cinema acquired distribution rights to the film.[9] Its U.S. premiere was at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, 2018.[10][11]

It was released through DirecTV Cinema on May 31, 2018, before being released in a limited release on June 29, 2018.[12][13]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 59% based on 44 reviews, and an average rating of 5.9/10.[14] The site's critical consensus reads, "Woman Walks Ahead gets some extra mileage out of watchable work from Jessica Chastain and Michael Greyeyes, but uneven pacing and two-dimensional characters undermine their efforts." On Metacritic, which assigns a rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15]

Despite mixed reviews, Michael Greyeyes received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Sitting Bull.[16][17][18][19] The New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis called his performance "a miracle of intelligence and dignity".[16] RogerEbert.com contributor Susan Wloszczyna raved about his performance, calling it "the most subtle, soulful, and believable".[17] Los Angeles Times and Village Voice critics described his presence as captivating as “wry wit and quiet gravity”, while the latter described his performance as "stirring".[18]


  1. ^ Peele, Anna (June 6, 2018). "How Jessica Chastain Emerged as a Leader for Gender Equality: "Your Silence Is Your Discrimination"". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead". The Numbers. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Pollack, Eileen (2002). Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 9781515965626.
  5. ^ Jaafar, Ali (February 3, 2016). "Jessica Chastain To Star In 'Woman Walks Ahead' With Susanna White Directing". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  6. ^ Hipes, Patrick (September 14, 2016). "Sam Rockwell, Michael Greyeyes & More Join Jessica Chastain In 'Woman Walks Ahead'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 25, 2017). "Toronto Film Festival 2017 Unveils Strong Slate". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 20, 2017). "Jessica Chastain Sitting Bull Painter Pic 'Woman Walks Ahead' Snapped Up By A24 & DirecTV". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Raup, Jordan (March 7, 2018). "Tribeca 2018 Lineup Includes 'Disobedience,' 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post,' 'The Seagull,' and More". The Film Stage. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Coming Soon". A24. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  13. ^ Billington, Alex (April 24, 2018). "Trailer for Susanna White's 'Woman Walks Ahead' with Jessica Chastain". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  14. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  15. ^ "Woman Walks Ahead Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Catsoulis, Jeannette (June 28, 2018). "Review: A 'Woman Walks Ahead,' and Sitting Bull Stands Up". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Wloszczyna, Susan (June 29, 2018). "Woman Walks Ahead". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Chang, Justin (June 28, 2018). "Jessica Chastain plays the artist who painted Sitting Bull in the inert history lesson 'Woman Walks Ahead'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Scherstuhl, Alan (June 27, 2018). ""Woman Walks Ahead" Finds Jessica Chastain and Sitting Bull Lost on the Plains". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 5, 2018.

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