Review: The Most Hated Woman in America (probable spoilers)

Director: Tim O’Haver

Starring: Melissa Leo, Josh Lucas, Adam Scott, Juno Temple and Vincent Kartheiser 

The Most Hated Woman in America is based on the true story of Madalyn Murray O’Hair (Leo), an atheist activist who fought and won for bible readings to be banned in public schools and ultimately founded the American Atheists organisation. The main focus on the movie focuses on the kidnapping of Madalyn as well as her son Jon (Michael Chernus) and granddaughter Robin (Juno Temple) in 1995 while flashing back to the notable points in her career.

This was a really interesting concept to put out a story of someone who had such strong opinions and her fight to keep religion from being forced on people, especially children. Madalyn Murray O’Hair is also a very interesting and complex person to explore and ultimately this movie hits the bullet points but doesn’t really go deep into the meat of things. In terms of storytelling it more just shows you things she did and things that happened to her instead of really digging in and making you care. It shows you her caring nature of helping people in need and taking in people who would usually be shunned while she was also involved in some shady dealings and exploiting people for money. The motivations and inner turmoil of these decisions would have been great for them to dig in to but I never felt it.

The performances were fine considering there wasn’t much required of the actors really. The best performance I felt was the only person who really seemed to have issues and inner turmoil. That was Vincent Kartheiser as Madalyns first son William and Robin’s  father. He was fantastic as a man torn between being a husband, father and son. Torn between his overbearing mother and his duties to his family and his ultimate loss of it all.

In the end this movie was fine but it could have been great. There was a lot that could have been delved in to but was in the end skimmed over. It’s performances and concept were enough to keep me there to the end but it’s not something I think everyone needs to see. I give The Most Hated Woman in America a 6/10

Have you seen the movie? Are you interested to? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and till next time, take it easy.


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