Based on the 2004 Meg Wolitzer novel by the same name, Directed by Björn Runge, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, The Wife tells the story of a wife who questions her life choices as she and her husband travel to Stockholm, where he is to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. I know, sounds very privileged, vanilla, uninteresting, etc.
The Wife played right across the street from my job for many weeks when it was first released and I just kept putting off seeing it. I had no idea what the story was about. If you know me, you know I don’t like to know. All I knew was Glen Close starred in it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see The Wife. I did. I mean, Glen Close is in it! I just didn’t make it a priority for some reason or another. (I was also going through some sickness or another during that time.) I watched the other day on YouTube Movies and was quite pleasantly surprised. (I just stumbled upon YouTube Movies the other day. Honestly, I didn’t know it existed before this week! It’s amazing! Really great for when a movie is not playing in your area or in an inconvenient location. I know I’m acting like the first person to discover it when I’m sure millions already knew, and I’m late to the party. Just passing on the info for those who may not know. Okay. Back to the review…)
Similarly to Phantom Thread (my review in the link), The Wife examines the complexities of this long-term marriage and relationship. We get a look at the ups and downs of this marriage; the different ways they need and use one other – the ways they abuse one another and/or care for one another. The underbelly of this relationship/marriage is laid bare, where they can’t stand one another one second but then some event or a moment of joy can cause them to forgive, forget and reconcile – until the next time. We see how sacrifices which appear to be noble can sometimes be selfish. How sacrifices fester into bitterness and resentment. How lies in relationships will corrode everything. How suppressed feelings and resentment can cause one to explode. How one can tell a lie for so long one can train oneself to believe their own bullshit. And how to have that truth revealed and the secret unraveled can be a huge blow to the psyche; even to the soul. (Their son also travels with him and the dynamics between him and each of his parents are explored, but that is the less interesting part of the film, but his character’s presence is integral to the plot.)
The writing is intricate. The way the truth unravels is very satisfying. It seems like two people are simply having a conversation, but there is so much nuance and emotion behind every word. Every word and expression is punched once you get the gist of the back story and the real nature of the relationship these two have shared over the years. (It’s almost as though I need to watch it again knowing what I now know to see how different it feels.) The resentment, the selfishness, the egotism, the success, the joy, the love, the triumphs. It is quite a ride. It is the type of situation that one cannot say what they would do unless one were in it. It’s a real marriage.
The Wife is superbly acted by the two leads. Glen Close is just a pro who is guaranteed to nail it every single time. Period. (Good luck on getting that Oscar Glen, but Melissa McCarthy is going to give you a run for it, I believe. I’ll be reviewing Can You Ever Forgive Me Next, by the way.) Jonathan Pryce made me want to slap his face several times. He was outstanding as a boorish, selfish, cantankerous, arrogant, horrible hypocrite. I thought he did a better job than Close! (You want to talk about someone who deserved a Best Supporting Actor nod, at the very least. Here he is.) Max Irons as the couple’s son does a great job at being annoying and melancholy. I couldn’t stand him! His interactions with his father were intense and powerful. Talk about daddy issues… I would have liked some more background on his mental health issues. I can’t say whether it was intention, but it certainly seemed as though he may have had something going on there. His energy was so low when he wasn’t going at it with his parents.
The Wife earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. (If I watched it again, it might get bumped up to 9 bloops, but I don’t have time right now. On to the next!) It’s a great movie, not to be missed. It is playing in some theaters or you can rent/stream it. (Oh, look out for that choir though… Hahahaha! I was sooo confused!) Enjoy!
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is a work in progress.)
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade Vice Roma
Mary Queen of Scots Widows The Favourite
Green Book Halloween Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody Beautiful Boy The Hate U Give
First Man Assassination Nation The Oath
A Star is Born The House with a Clock in Its Walls A Simple Favor
The Predator BlackkKlansman Support the Girls
Peppermint Christopher Robin Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders RBG Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage A Quiet Place Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time Lady Bird I, Tonya
The Florida Project Black Panther Molly’s Game
The Post Phantom Thread Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World Coco The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist Call Me By Your Name
Victoria and Abdul Thor: Ragnarok Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother! It Good Time
Atomic Blonde Dunkirk Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming The Big Sick Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me It Comes at Night The Wedding Plan
Wonder Woman Everything, everything King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw Kong: Skull Island Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts A Cure for Wellness Get Out
Hidden Figures Fences Moonlight
Hell or High Water Loving La La Land
Lion Manchester by the Sea Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge Nocturnal Animals Captain Fantastic
Elle Jackie I Am Not Your Negro