The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

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Brian C
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The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#1 Post by Brian C » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:12 pm

Glenn Close is seemingly in contention for an Oscar nomination for her work here, and ... eh, she's fine. The movie sure is working hard on her behalf, giving her a big, obvious reaction shot to highlight every line of dialogue and gesture that the filmmakers want to call attention to, in the way someone might use one of those fluorescent highlighters while reading a book. If one didn't know better, one would think that Close herself a) directed the movie, and b) is particularly vain. She holds her own, which is more than I can say for the other main characters in the movie (Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, and Max Irons all give maximally irritating performances), but I don't think there's anything in the role or performance that any thousands of other actors couldn't have pulled off.

The big problem, though, is that this is an empty movie, the type that uses a somber tone to signify weightiness instead of any actual weight. It's structurally inane, using pointed dialogue and a flashback structure to build to a BIG REVELATION that would probably have been more dramatically interesting if we had known it from the start. And even worse, just when it gets to the point where the characters will have to deal with the consequences of their choices, the film completely cops out by
SpoilerShow
killing off Pryce's character, therefore avoiding having to deal with any of the issues the film has raised.

Honestly, this ending made me pretty angry. I guess I could give the film credit in one respect, because usually the big tragic death happens to the woman in the film. So, strike one for gender equity! Yet even in that very narrow respect, the film manages to frame his death as something that was basically something she caused - she threatens to leave him, and he literally keels over dead at the thought. I mean, come on.

At the same time, this is a movie that its makers obviously feel has feminist themes, but it's unconvincing on these grounds as well. We see in flashbacks that she was a willing participant in hiding the true authorship of his books; indeed it is presented as her idea in the first place. One might say that gender inequality forced her into that role, but based on what? One female author tells her it's hopeless so she decides her only hope is ghostwriting her husband's books? I don't really buy it - not to deny the sexism in the publishing (or any other) industry, but who is this character who is so persistent in applying her passion while simultaneously so easily discouraged by the obstacles? She doesn't make sense to me.

And again, it's all moot anyway, because as soon as the two of them finally get past the side-eyed glances and passive-aggressive one-liners and confront each other about their circumstances, the movie just kills Pryce's character off instead of having these characters deal with it. It renders everything that came before it inconsequential and sinks any kind of potential thematic payoff. How pointless ... it's just bad writing.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2018

#2 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:18 pm

I will never understand why Close has this narrative of being owed an Oscar every couple years. Who cares about Glenn Close?

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Re: The Films of 2018

#3 Post by dda1996a » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:21 pm

Cauz she was like robbed for Fatal Attraction wasn't she?

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2018

#4 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:25 pm

I agree with the Academy that Cher in Moonstruck was better than Close, but if anyone was owed that year it was Holly Hunter for Broadcast News

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Re: The Films of 2018

#5 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:26 pm

As an Oscars enthusiast, I’m sure you know she’s the living actor with the most nominations and no win. She’s tied overall with Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr, each of whom did work deserving of winning a competitive Oscar.

Though I’m not going to run out to see every new Glenn Close film, I’d be happy if she finally won an Oscar. I love her work in so many of her late-80s and early-90s films. Don’t love much since then, but she sure works a lot considering the paltry roles for women her age.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#6 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:29 pm

I mean, I haven't seen the last one she was nommed for, but I look at her other noms and she deserved to lose. You look at Amy Adams' noms and she deserved to win for at least three of them, not to mention all the roles she should have been nommed for. Who's worked up Close didn't get nommed for even one other role?

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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#7 Post by swo17 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:36 pm

domino = Walton Goggins in The Shield confirmed

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Brian C
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Re: The Films of 2018

#8 Post by Brian C » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:25 pm
I agree with the Academy that Cher in Moonstruck was better than Close, but if anyone was owed that year it was Holly Hunter for Broadcast News
I wish we lived in a world where Holly Hunter had this narrative of being owed an Oscar every couple years.

(Yes, I know she won one. Even still.)

Werewolf by Night

The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#9 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:53 pm

Glenn Close probably should have won for Dangerous Liaisons. It’s good, nuanced work, and Jodie Foster doesn’t need 2 Oscars.

Though I like her in Fatal Attraction, nobody’s taking Cher’s Oscar for Moonstruck away.

And I would have liked her to be nominated for supporting actress for Reversal of Fortune, but we all know Diane Ladd should have won for Wild at Heart. Not Whoopi for fuckin Ghost.

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Omensetter
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Re: The Films of 2018

#10 Post by Omensetter » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:50 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:18 pm
Who cares about Glenn Close?
+1

I literally heard of this movie last week, when I discovered it's siphoning off screens at my theatre in September. It's a 2017 TIFF pick-up Sony's been cynically holding for the purpose of mounting an Oscar campaign. Glenn Close had a moment, and then that moment closed over twenty years ago. She's had a good career and can buy everyone on this forum a house.

I just checked and the last thing I saw her in was on VHS with Air Force One. That's not on me for not watching films; her cinematic career, let's say post-Air Force One, has been paychecks, some studio willing Albert Nobbs to footnote status, and gaps.

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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#11 Post by knives » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:28 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:29 pm
I mean, I haven't seen the last one she was nommed for, but I look at her other noms and she deserved to lose. You look at Amy Adams' noms and she deserved to win for at least three of them, not to mention all the roles she should have been nommed for. Who's worked up Close didn't get nommed for even one other role?
Garp?

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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#12 Post by ng4996 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:45 pm

knives wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:28 pm
domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:29 pm
I mean, I haven't seen the last one she was nommed for, but I look at her other noms and she deserved to lose. You look at Amy Adams' noms and she deserved to win for at least three of them, not to mention all the roles she should have been nommed for. Who's worked up Close didn't get nommed for even one other role?
Garp?
Albert Nobbs

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knives
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#13 Post by knives » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:46 pm

I was referring to his last question not to her last movie, which I don't care about.

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swo17
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#14 Post by swo17 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:49 pm

She was nominated for both Garp and Nobbs

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knives
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#15 Post by knives » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:54 pm

This is why I shouldn't post from my phone. I would put Close above the role Lange won for that year and also above the other nominees.

dda1996a
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Re: The Films of 2018

#16 Post by dda1996a » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:15 am

dda1996a wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:21 pm
Cauz she was like robbed for Fatal Attraction wasn't she?
I guess it didn't come out right but I was joking. I dislike Fatal Attraction, and Garp is a film I despise. I never really cared for Close either, maybe Dangerous Liaison is her only work I actively enjoy. And Amy fucking Adam's wasn't even nominated for Arrival which should have won that year. But who cares about the oscars that rarely ever get anything right

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Re: The Films of 2018

#17 Post by lacritfan » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:25 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:25 pm
I agree with the Academy that Cher in Moonstruck was better than Close, but if anyone was owed that year it was Holly Hunter for Broadcast News
or Sally Kirkland for Anna

Werewolf by Night

Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#18 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:20 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#19 Post by domino harvey » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:42 pm

Werewolf by Night wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:20 pm
That’s my cue!
This is art, she deserves an Oscar for her "lounging" alone!
knives wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:54 pm
This is why I shouldn't post from my phone. I would put Close above the role Lange won for that year and also above the other nominees.
Lange won for Frances as much as Tootsie that year, really, but had no chance against Streep in Sophie's Choice. I won't argue against not pulling for her or Garr given my feelings on Tootsie. But Lesley Ann Warren was easily the best of the five nominees that year, giving a wonderfully vulgar performance in an otherwise not great movie, Victor/Victoria

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knives
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#20 Post by knives » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:08 pm

Warren and Stanley both do really great work and I won't argue against them, but in that tight race I'd probably put Close just barely ahead.

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Re: The Films of 2018

#21 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:21 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:18 pm
I will never understand why Close has this narrative of being owed an Oscar every couple years. Who cares about Glenn Close?
Omensetter wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:50 pm
+1

I literally heard of this movie last week, when I discovered it's siphoning off screens at my theatre in September. It's a 2017 TIFF pick-up Sony's been cynically holding for the purpose of mounting an Oscar campaign. Glenn Close had a moment, and then that moment closed over twenty years ago. She's had a good career and can buy everyone on this forum a house.

I just checked and the last thing I saw her in was on VHS with Air Force One. That's not on me for not watching films; her cinematic career, let's say post-Air Force One, has been paychecks, some studio willing Albert Nobbs to footnote status, and gaps.
I feel like Sony has been reading this thread and did this in reply. It certainly doesn't seem to be any of the poster images for the film:

Image

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Omensetter
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#22 Post by Omensetter » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 am

wtf is that font---super serifs don't confer validity---"if" isn't even a letter, let alone a diphthong

Why are they pulling a quotation to minimize Pryce? Close = a powerhouse, the titular wife; Pryce = merely fantastic

It seems to be between Gaga, Colman, and Gaga.

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mfunk9786
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Re: The Wife (Björn Runge, 2018)

#23 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:39 pm

I just came in here to say:

Björn Runge

Thanks, carry on with your day and make it a good one

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