Been getting this trailer a lot and anything with Glenn Close deserves a little attention and excitement. Why? Because it’s Glenn Close. How many times do you see her on the big screen? Besides, who doesn’t love old-people romance?
The story looks like it’s about a woman whose husband is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize. As loving and supportive as she is, a reporter comes along and digs up some dirty secrets about her husband, who has had affairs with younger women. There’s also going to be flashbacks to when they were younger.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Glenn Close (FATHER FIGURES , and the upcoming EASTER ), Jonathan Pryce (THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS , and the upcoming THE POPE ), Annie Starke (stuff I’ve not seen or heard of), Harry Lloyd (ANTHROPOID , and the upcoming PHILOPHOBIA ), and Christian Slater (ALONE IN THE DARK  and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Björn Runge, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of. Penning the screenplay, we have Jane Anderson, known for 1 episode of MAD MEN (2007 – 2015). Composing the score, we have Jocelyn Pook, known for EYES WIDE SHUT (1999). The cinematographer is Ulf Brantås, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, and the upcoming DENMARK (2018). Finally, the editor is Lena Runge, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of.
Overall, this looks like it could be good. What I’m especially curious to see is how Close’s daughter, Starke, fares as her younger self. This should be interesting, I think.
This is my honest opinion of: THE WIFE
Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) has been married to her literary genius husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) for decades. One fateful morning, he gets a phone call from Stockholm, Sweden and is informed that he’ll be receiving the year’s Nobel Prize in literature. While there with their son David (Max Irons) and a relentless biographer named Nathaniel (Christian Slater) who wants to write about Joe’s life, the truth about Joe’s extra-marital affairs, and more, slowly boil to the surface.
Yup, I liked this one.
Dude, I miss Glenn Close. Why isn’t she in more stuff? She’s right up there with Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep. You know what? I take that back. I think Close is better than Streep. At least when Close acts silly, she commits to it one-hundred percent and is legit entertaining. Streep is cringeworthy. But enough of this playground bullshit, let’s talk about the movie.
Close knocks this movie out of the park. For that matter, so does Pryce. Both actors work beautifully off one another. There is no point in this movie where I didn’t buy into their characters’ marriage. It’s got everything. Love, passion, sexuality, playfulness, seriousness, you name it, it’s all there. Joe is a charming, intellectual goof, and Joan is a sympathetic and frankly, adorably doting wife. But then the plot starts kicking in and Joan is a stalwart woman who vehemently defends her husband against Nathaniel’s implications against Joe’s reputation and career, and Joe becomes this dirty old fart that you kind of love to hate. Hell, even Close’s daughter Starke isn’t half bad. I admit that her first couple scenes felt a little schmaltzy and the script wasn’t giving her anything to chew on, but as her section of the story developed, she develops into a wonderfully brilliant character in her own right and really does feel like the younger version of Joan. My only complaint is that Starke’s role is criminally brief. Here’s to hoping we see more of her on the big screen.
Even the supporting cast does a fine job, Slater in particular provides a nice counter-balance to the hoity-toity glam that the rest of cast exhumes. He has this upbeat, enthusiastic charm about him that makes you initially dislike him, because reporters in film are naturally unlikable schmucks, but could be argued by the end of the movie to be one of the most crucial and important good guys in the story. He’s certainly passive-aggressive in his approaches to the Castleman family, but ultimately appears a genuine dude who cares about the right people, though not necessarily in the right way. The same praise goes to Max Irons as David, Joan and Joe’s son. While it may seem like he’s a clichéd character who is trying to live up to his father’s example and in constant need of his approval, I say that enough of their family dynamic explains it better than a lesser movie would have. Plus, like everyone else, Irons works off of everyone wonderfully. Boy, this movie is two for two on famous kids, Starke being Close’s daughter, and Irons being the son of Jeremy Irons. Kinda funny how that worked out.
Overall, this might be a shorter review (my fault for not having my notebook to jot down notes), but make no mistake, this is a movie full of powerhouse performances, and if you’re a fan of Glenn Close, like I am, then you’re in for a special treat. As a recommendation, I say it’s definitely worth checking out.
My honest rating for THE WIFE: 5/5
This week’s reviews:
Next week’s reviews
- THE LITTLE MERMAID
- THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
- THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS
- THE BOOKSHOP
- SUPPORT THE GIRLS
- 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY