The Wife (2018)
Critic Consensus: The Wife relies on the strength of Glenn Close's performance to drive home the power of its story -- and she proves thoroughly, grippingly up to the task.
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Critic Reviews for The Wife
Watch Close's face in these early scenes; imagine what she's feeling because you will imagine something much different by the end.
With Glenn Close in the lead role, it's... unexpectedly poignant and powerful.
The Wife is that increasingly rare offering, a commercially viable film that also makes you rethink your assumptions about talent and who gets to wield it.
Other than the performances, there is nothing here audiences haven't seen more times than they have their own feet.
Close owns this movie, from beginning to end; it's a performance of such intelligence and subtlety that only when the movie is long over do you start wondering about whether the plot holds up.
Audience Reviews for The Wife
THE WIFE (3 Stars) If Glenn Close wins the Oscar for this, it will be well-deserved and not the Al Pacino/SCENT OF A WOMAN award for past legendary performances. She holds a master class in controlled, silent rage in a film which, unfortunately, would have been better realized as a stage play. The 11th hour on-the-nose dialogue feels like a misstep, but what comes before works so well in showing off a thoughtful, true, unexpected study of a life subjugated to a man who got to coast.
"There's nothing more dangerous than a writer whose feelings have been hurt." The Wife is one of those movies you'll want to watch again as soon as you finish it the first time if not for how intense or fascinating it is, but for the delicately layered elements of perception versus reality that both Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce convey over the course of it. The Wife may look like your typical stuffy, Oscar drama fueled solely by the performances of its illustrious lead and while it most definitely is all of those things it also turns out to be much more than this; a searing portrait of intimacy and how as much between two people can be both the most familiar and painful thing in ones life. Bonus points for good turns from Christian Slater and Max Irons. Bonus bonus points for having Annie Starke, Close's real-life daughter, beautifully portray the younger version of Close's Joan. The way Starke compliments her mothers performance hammers home the personal betrayal at the heart of the film.
Despite two strong performances by Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, this is a frustrating drama that starts well enough but soon gives in to clichés and unnecessary melodrama before going as far as to remove the protagonist's agency with plot choices that are in fact quite revolting.
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