By Megan Bianco
With September usually being a pretty empty month for new movie releases, it also makes for a good time to visit some decent movies that have been out for a while. Still in theaters currently is Björn Runge’s The Wife, starring veteran character actors Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. Two powerhouse performances that might be remembered at the end of the year when “best of 2018” lists and awards season comes around.
In 1992, an elderly Connecticut couple awakens to a phone call from Stockholm, Sweden, informing the husband he’s just been chosen for the Nobel Prize in literature. Joseph Castleman (Pryce) has spent his whole career as one of the most acclaimed and respected novelists of the mid-20th century. His wife Joan (Close) is his biggest supporter and confidant. Their son, David, (Max Irons) tags along for the celebration, as does nosy biographer Nathaniel Bone (Christian Slater), interested in Joe’s life story.
Harry Lloyd and Annie Starke play Joe and Joan in flashback sequences. The Wife is adapted by Jane Anderson from Meg Wolitzer’s popular novel. Director Runge tells a tale on the lives of writers and the lives of people who knew writers. The first half of the film is particularly strong story-wise, though unfortunately, the plot twist in the second act is a little predictable. Some of the best scenes are between Lloyd and Starke, and it’s no surprise Starke can channel a younger Close, as she is her real-life daughter. Even with the cliché turn of events, The Wife is still worth a look for the performances.