From her screen debut in The World According To Garp to Albert Nobbs (and even in films ranging from The Big Chill and Guardians of the Galaxy to Air Force One) Glenn Close has made quite a contribution to cinema. Even in light of the #MeToo movement after the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfolded.
In Bjorn Runge’s The Wife the six-time Oscar-nominated septuagenarian continues to do so as Joan Cattleman, spouse of Nobel Prize-winning author Joseph (Jonathan Pryce of Listen Up Philip, Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean).
Life is very pleasant at the outset in the Big Apple when the couple learns of the award, although as the Stockholm ceremony approaches her calm, encouraging attitude may have something stewing near the surface.
Could it be Mr. Castleman’s philandering ways which could now include the Nobel photographer (Karin Franz Korlof), or a dismissiveness of his children, like would-be writer son David (Max Irons, son of Jeremy, Close’s co-star from the riveting Reversal of Fortune)? Christian Slater is nagging Nathaniel, a prospective biographer of Joe, who has a particularly pointed encounter with a cannily judicious Joan.
Pryce relishes the literary stalwart who isn’t able to hide his wretched frailty while Close uses her quietude to much advantage in commanding the proceedings which moves rather fleetly. The secret brewing isn’t that evident and scribe Jane Anderson does well from Meg Wolitzer’s 2005 novel (perhaps not so much in looking back sequences) to create enough apprehension. At least until Joan’s exasperating resentment spews like magma.