The Wife (2017)

the wife poster 2017 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Close & Pryce

Average story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Wife

Studio:  Silver Reel

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  September 12, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)/August 17, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

the wife glenn close jonathan pryce dance

This will be a fun trip…we’ll really bond

Joseph Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Now, he and his wife Joan (Glenn Close) are headed to Stockholm for the festival with their son David (Max Irons).  Writer Nathaniel Bone (Christian Slater) is assigned to write a biography of Joseph Castleman, but he has some questions about Castleman’s work.  Joseph and Joan have a secret that could threaten to be exposed.

Directed by Björn Runge, The Wife is a drama based on the Meg Wolitzer 2003 novel.  The film was originally released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 but received wide release in 2018.  The movie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress (Close).

Glenn Close’s sudden attention at the beginning of the award season was a bit of a surprise.  While other actresses had been predicted to win more of the “Best Actress” awards, Close’s film and performance suddenly surged ahead.  Though the movie is a bit predictable, the performance is good.

the wife wake up song glenn close jonathan pryce

Worst AirBnB wake-up ever

The story is average but there is an intriguing aspect.  The whole process of the Nobel Prize is an odd one where people who aren’t normally celebrated suddenly are treated like rock stars.  From the early morning call to the pomp and circumstance, the whole process is extreme…and if you have a secret gnawing at you that could negate the whole ceremony, I can understand how emotions would quickly reach a tipping point.  This especially is true since winners are often celebrated for their life’s work and have decades of past to go through to get the award.

Close deserves the praise she gets.  She has to play a person that really does love the person who has been her tormentor for years.  Both she and Pryce rage through the whole movie and “life” keeps getting in the way of their anger toward one another.  The other characters in the film are rather flat and Christian Slater’s character is on the verge of developing but doesn’t quite make it over the hump.

the wife glenn close christian slater

Didn’t you used to be Christian Slater?

The movie isn’t very visual.  You get a few looks at Stockholm, but most of the story (rightfully) takes place in cars and hotel rooms.  Once again, the experience of getting the Nobel Prize might be the most interesting part of the movie’s story simply because we don’t see much of it in the United States.

The Wife is a solid drama but that is primarily due to the drive of the two lead actors.  Close continues to demonstrate that Hollywood shouldn’t “write off” actresses who would be considered too old (while continuing to hire men who are far past their prime).  It is a movie about regret and love that can be enjoyed by a wide range of viewers.

Related Links:

The 91st Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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