7.5/10 Every so often you come across a film with a very simple story that is more of a character study than a grand, sweeping epic with many connecting pieces. This is one of those films. The main characters are very minimal as we mainly focus on a husband and a wife with a little bit of their adult children and a biographer thrown in. The story is told in the early 1990s and then flashes back to the 1960s with seamless ease. Both time periods are equally engaging and the editing between them/the timing of switching back and forth works well. Since the film clocks in at about one hour and 40 minutes, the pacing works great and never slows to a crawl. Glenn Close earns her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and even though he isn’t nominated, one could argue that Jonathan Pryce (whom you’ll recognize from “Game of Thrones” and “Taboo”) keeps up with her and could have easily been nominated for Best Actor for his stunning work. Both of our leads play off of each other fantastically throughout the entire film. As the biographer, Christian Slater continues to have a bit of a resurgence these days, which is a welcomed sight to behold. The script stays tight to its subject matter with the precision of an acclaimed writer, not unlike our main protagonist of the film. The film ends on a rather convenient, yet satisfying note. The only minor negatives I can say for the film are that it doesn’t have a lot of replayability and that since this is a basic character study, many may find it to be a bit slow and/or dry. I would disagree but concede that it is a little slow to unfold in certain moments, but not overall. The score and cinematography are rather minimally done and wisely don’t decide to hog the limelight. Swedish Director Björn Runge knows that this isn’t a flashy or stylistic story and is smart to show restraint with his direction and all aspects of the film making on display here. By no means a classic or extremely memorable, “The Wife” is a well-made and extremely well-acted character study that I found to be engaging and fascinating. If slower, dialogue driven films are your cup of tea, I recommend you leave your wife at home so you can give “The Wife” a visit.
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