Katie Walsh – Tribune News Service
Directed by Daniel Barber, “The Keeping Room” has a studied grimness. There’s a ghostly quality in the flickering light and dusty, barren houses, which is emphasized by the sound design, which whispers rather than roars, the air itself seeming to moan and quake.
The conflicts are specifically feminine — rape is a near-constant presence and threat for the women here in Julia Hart’s script. But Augusta also mourns for her femininity, having had to become the man of the house in the absence of men. The gender-role play is a last-ditch survival tactic for these women in a world hell-bent on destroying them.