February 24, 2019

The Wife (2018)

Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce

I love a good story about long suffering, resentful people. Especially when said people are women. But there needs to be more. I need more than a simple narrative about a woman who never got credit for her work. (It's not really a spoiler, they basically tell you in the trailer.) 

What the movie does well is its nuance. Glenn Close manages to straddle the line between righteously angry and placatingly stoic and delivers an entire performance while uttering a bare minimum of words. But besides her performance, what does this movie give us that's new? The story lacks originality. It lacks sizzle. It even lacks compelling characters, outside of Close. Jonathan Pryce is easily pegged as an insecure narcissist. Their son is a petulant, needy, overgrown man-child. And Christian Slater, who pops up almost unexpectedly in this movie, is a journalist who makes your skin crawl every time he talks. The end result is a cast no one cares much about, telling a story you can already figure out.

I don't know, maybe I'm too optimistic, but I want to see stories about women burning it all to the fucking ground. I want to see them rise, a la Colette, and claim what's rightfully theirs. And if they are going to stand by their man, so to speak, then they'd better have a damn good reason. And Jonathan Pryce's character does not seem like a good reason. But like I said, maybe I'm too optimistic.

Final word: Meh.

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