The Wife

They say that behind every great man is a great woman, but The Wife is about a great woman (Glenn Close) who’s stuck behind a mediocre man, namely Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), a writer who is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

mf_the_wife_261116_cs19_062520copy

The story is told with a great deal of restraint. Instead of sensational melodrama it opts for a subtlety and gradual development which make it utterly believable. The relationship between the couple is well handled, with a believable chemistry throughout their ups and downs. image-1.jpg

Close gives a brilliant, nuanced performance as the Alma Hitchcock of the literary world, but I found it easier to relate to the mediocre writer she’s married to. Christian Slater is also good, reprising his role as the investigative journalist from Interview with the Vampire.

It’s expertly directed by Björn Runge. Set mainly in Stockholm, it has some gorgeous cinematography and a beautiful minimalist soundtrack by Jocelyn Pook. Yet the story doesn’t feel entirely novel (this is even referenced with a wink at one point) and its unsatisfactory conclusion is disappointing in a film about literary brilliance. What results is something like Amour meets Big Eyes, falling between the two in terms of both content and quality.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s