Last bit of Oscar homework. All through awards season, I was hoping this wouldn’t get nominated, because I didn’t wanna see. But Close started to win precursor after precursor, and her nomination seemed a lock. Now her win seems likely. Now I was obligated.
Close plays Joan, the wife to a celebrated author. Her husband has just been informed that he has won the Nobel Prize in literature, and we follow their trip to the ceremony in Stockholm. As we watch this faithful partner holding her husband coat and generally keeping his life in order, we start seeing some resentment coming thru and hints of a longheld secret she’s hiding.
My expectations going in had been tempered. I was told that Close was phenomenal, but the film wasn’t anything too great otherwise. I strongly disagree with that assessment; I was completely floored by it. I walked out of the theater stunned and had to immediately text a friend I’ve been discussing Oscar movies with at length. I think a big reason for the disconnect in opinions is simply because I feel this is a film that will resonate with the ladies more than the men-folk. I picked up on subtleties in her mannerisms and actions that told me where the story was going to go and just hit me so hard. I don’t know that I can really expand on it without giving away major plot points, but simply put I was seething.
And the reason why I felt those emotions so strongly was Close. She said so much with each pointed look she gave, but what really struck me was the way she’d switch emotions on a dime. There were several scenes where she’d shift from screaming to laughing or crying or something completely different but completely believable. And I felt every last one of them.
I do get some of the criticisms about the film as a whole, but Close’s performance was enough to elevate it beyond that. And it just might get her that elusive Oscar
The Wife – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/