A review of the new film “The Wife”

This is a quality film with outstanding acting but it won’t appeal to all because it is a character-driven, dialogue-rich work with no action sequences or special effects.

Indeed it could have been a play. In fact, it is adapted by Jane Anderson from the 2003 novel by Meg Wolitzer and, together with the eponymous role being take by an actress, some will therefore regard it as a woman’s film but men should certainly view it as well.

Set in 1992 (so shots of Concorde), the story is set around the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to American novelist Jonathan Castleman who is accompanied to the ceremony in Stockholm by his ever-supportive wife Joan.

Jonathan Pryce and Glenn Close – two actors now in their 70s – give superb perfomances as the long-married couple, but it is Close – a six times Academy Award nominee – who provides a career-best showing. She expresses so many emotions so vividly just with a silent look.

There are flash-backs to the 1950s and 1960s when the couple are played by Harry Lloyd and Close’s real-life daughter Annie Starke.

Other important roles are the couple’s son (Max Irons) and a would-be biographer (Christian Slater) in a fine cast pulled together with style by Swedish director Bj0rn Runge making his English-language feature debut. The slow reveal leads to explosive revelations and serious consequences.


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