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The Wife

A powerhouse drama with an Oscar worthy turn by Glenn Close, THE WIFE is an intense look into a couple's relationship at a boiling point.

Jonathan Pryce (Evita, Miss Saigon) is excellent as author Joe Castleman, a lifelong author who learns he has been awarded the Nobel Prize for fiction literature.

Close is his wife Joan, listening in on the call as the award is announced and celebrating with her husband over the news.

But that celebration is short lived as a life-long secret looms beneath the surface and their son, budding author David (Max Irons) battles against his self centered father for attention.

When Joe, Joan and David travel to Stockholm for the Nobel ceremony, tension mounts and the film starts flashing back to the first days of their relationship, when Joe was a young, married college professor and Joan was his student.

We move back and forth at key times in the story with young Joan played by Annie Stark and young Joe really well played by Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything).

The past informs the present and the more we learn in each time frame, the more intense the film grows.

Christian Slater is fine in the worst role in the movie, a reporter chasing Joe's biography that is digging very close to his biggest secret. The reporter is the only part of the film that feels forced, more story device that realistic player. It's not Slater's fault, but every time he's on screen, things are slightly derailed.

I really want Lady Gaga to win Best Actress at the Oscars this year for "A Star Is Born", but Close has been winning most of the awards shows and after seeing this, I get it. She's fantastic, at her breaking point and fascinating to watch.

Pryce goes toe-to-toe with ferocity, but his indiscretions and insecurities bury any goodwill for him that you begin to feel.

The final 25 minutes starting just before the ceremony and echoing afterward are excellent.

Close and Pryce's final scene together is really heart wrenching and kicks you in the gut.

If the last minute feels like it's a little pedestrian in it's all to obvious reference to their road ahead, its a minor complaint about a terrific movie.

Close is fantastic. Many years after "Fatal Attraction", she is NOT to be ignored. THE WIFE is a sexually frank, terrific adult drama and gets an A.

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