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The Wife

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, Sweden, USA

2018

Rated R • 1h 40m

Director Björn Runge

Starring Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons

Genre Drama

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Joan has lived her life as the devoted wife to a great American novelist for 40 years. But as the two travel to Stockholm, where her husband is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, Joan begins to question the the compromises she's made.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Variety by Andrew Barker

The Wife is Close’s film from start to finish, and several of the supporting performances fail to rise to her level, with Pryce and Slater the only ones who manage to impress in her orbit.
67

IndieWire by Ben Croll

It has a couple of nice reversals, two or three good laugh lines, and a caustic but not too acid skewering of cultural institutions. It goes down easy, it’s relatively unmemorable and it’s fine. Close, on the other hand, is exquisite.
38

Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

Glenn Close's perennial look of astonishment and resilience commands the action to the point of turning every other screen element into a gratuitous prop.
83

The Film Stage by Jordan Ruimy

As fraught with drama as this powder keg of heightened circumstances may be, make no mistake, The Wife is more than an actor’s showcase. The film itself is superb, a ticking time-bomb of simmering tension which benefits from the audience knowing as little as possible in advance.
80

Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Close plays this ignored, pushed-aside woman like a gathering storm, drawing us into the mind and heart of a heroine who’s not going to take it any more. The actress has received six acting nominations without ever winning an Oscar. The Wife, a funny and fierce showcase for her prodigious talents, might just end the drought. You can’t take your eyes off her.
88

Observer by Rex Reed

Soars above the ordinary with a timely narrative and a magnetic performance by Glenn Close that is nothing short of miraculous.
86

TheWrap by Todd Gilchrist

What ultimately works most profoundly for the film is that its intimacy, its specificity, feels less like the culmination of Joan’s life experiences and more like an epiphany, or maybe an origin story, for what’s yet to come from her.
70

Screen International by Wendy Ide

Despite high quality performances from Close and Pryce, the film leaves us with question marks over the credibility of the central scenario.

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