The Wife

Rated 3.0

This is one of those OK movies that strikes me as something that would’ve worked better as a play. I enjoyed it on some levels, and I think some of the performances are quite good, especially Glenn Close as the title character. Other performances come off as if they’re for a live audience rather than a camera. I’ve read that members of the cast rehearsed for weeks before cameras rolled. The Wife displays proof that sometimes you can be a little too polished and consequently come off as too melodramatic for a movie. That melodrama could play well for an Off-Broadway play, but for a movie like this? A little too forced. Close plays Joan Castleman, wife of newly christened Nobel Prize for Literature winner Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce or, as I like to call him, Sam Lowry). The first evidence of what kind of golden work Close will do in this movie is presented during an early moment when she picks up a phone to listen in as her husband is informed of his prize. Close makes an expression that’s a master class in how to act with your face for a camera. It’s breathtaking. As for the movie as a whole, it’s not as good as her, but good enough that the performance isn’t wasted.