The Wife

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Re: The Wife

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:03 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
Reza wrote:
Colman has absolutely zero chance of winning against Close this year.



Really? It'd be a pity because we all like a bit of suspance. But then there's only Glenn Close.


There is rarely any suspense at the Oscars. But sometimes they manage to throw in a curveball although it won't be in the lead actress category.

I think we might see a curveball in the supporting actress category.

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Re: The Wife

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:17 pm

Reza wrote:
Colman has absolutely zero chance of winning against Close this year.



Really? It'd be a pity because we all like a bit of suspance. But then there's only Glenn Close.

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Re: The Wife

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:11 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
Reza wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Still, Close is good. Her performance is more intelligent and more nuanced than the vehicle itself, but of course I don't think she SHOULD win an Oscar for such a flawed little thing. And will she win?I I can't believe that she will get many precursor awards - with the possible exception of the National Board of Review prize (maybe the Golden Globe, who knows). But I'm not even sure that it will only depend on the competition - Geraldine Page won for a much worse performance and her competition was strong. I think the main problem - the reason why right now I'd say she won't - is the movie itself - and yes, Page's movie was dreadful, but at least it was based on a prestigious play by a respected writer. The Wife is so unmemorable that only Blue Sky comes to mind as a possible precedent.


Well at least your "prediction" about the Globe, from way back in October, came true :lol:


Yeah :D

Now, after having seen A Star is Born (back then I still hadn't) I am more oprimistic about Close's chances at the Oscars, too. As I said back then, it depends on the competition, but really, at this point only Olivia Colman (based on what I've read here - I will see her movie in two weeks) seems a possible alternative.


I think Colman has absolutely zero chance of winning against Close this year. Blame the stupid studio for placing her in the lead category but I suppose it was done to give both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz a chance in support....both of whom will lose to either Regina King or Claire Foy. If Foy wins at Bafta watch her win the Oscar too.

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Re: The Wife

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:18 pm

Reza wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Still, Close is good. Her performance is more intelligent and more nuanced than the vehicle itself, but of course I don't think she SHOULD win an Oscar for such a flawed little thing. And will she win?I I can't believe that she will get many precursor awards - with the possible exception of the National Board of Review prize (maybe the Golden Globe, who knows). But I'm not even sure that it will only depend on the competition - Geraldine Page won for a much worse performance and her competition was strong. I think the main problem - the reason why right now I'd say she won't - is the movie itself - and yes, Page's movie was dreadful, but at least it was based on a prestigious play by a respected writer. The Wife is so unmemorable that only Blue Sky comes to mind as a possible precedent.


Well at least your "prediction" about the Globe, from way back in October, came true :lol:


Yeah :D

Now, after having seen A Star is Born (back then I still hadn't) I am more oprimistic about Close's chances at the Oscars, too. As I said back then, it depends on the competition, but really, at this point only Olivia Colman (based on what I've read here - I will see her movie in two weeks) seems a possible alternative.

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Re: The Wife

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:07 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Still, Close is good. Her performance is more intelligent and more nuanced than the vehicle itself, but of course I don't think she SHOULD win an Oscar for such a flawed little thing. And will she win?I I can't believe that she will get many precursor awards - with the possible exception of the National Board of Review prize (maybe the Golden Globe, who knows). But I'm not even sure that it will only depend on the competition - Geraldine Page won for a much worse performance and her competition was strong. I think the main problem - the reason why right now I'd say she won't - is the movie itself - and yes, Page's movie was dreadful, but at least it was based on a prestigious play by a respected writer. The Wife is so unmemorable that only Blue Sky comes to mind as a possible precedent.


Well at least your "prediction" about the Globe, from way back in October, came true :lol:

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Re: The Wife

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:02 pm

I blame Björn Runge. This is all a bit too broad, muggy, and unimaginative. It's not just that the flashbacks don't mesh with the rest of the film, but rather it doesn't seem like any effort was really made. The flashback scene where Young Joan critiques Young Joe's first draft gives new meaning to the phrase "on the nose." From a structural perspective, it's guilty of a fair amount of water-treading until the third act. A surprise birth leaps out as especially cringey.

Glenn Close's take on a woman who has allowed her life to take a backseat to another is to scream it from her eyes in every scene. She's done no help by the script or her director, but she tips her hand from scene two. It occurs to me that she might just be miscast. There's two different ways to play this role: as a woman gradually awakening to the agency she's abdicated, or as someone more lacerating, self-defeating, barbed-tongued. I'm not sure anyone quite decided. It's just too miscalculated to be called a great performance, but there's very good moments and it's certainly a terrific role. That being said, if someone were convinced of her greatness in the film, I wouldn't really argue with them... I'd just change the subject and ask if they've seen The Favourite.

Jonathan Pryce does yeoman work. He can do this kind of thing in his sleep but he's quite fun to watch. You certainly understand her devotion. I do wish he could hold his accent a bit better. It feels off.

I haven't read the novel, but the film feels too worshipful of Meg Wollitzer's voice to become a thing of its own.
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Re: The Wife

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:16 am

dws1982 wrote: It thinks it's Chekhov or Ibsen, when it's not even John Patrick Shanley.



Yes - amd considering the locations and the director, one could have also mentioned certain Swedish directors and playwrights that it think it is :)

But maybe because I went with very low expectations, I wasn't that disappointed honestly.

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Re: The Wife

Postby dws1982 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:36 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:I'm more in line with Mister Tee's take than those that flat-out HATED it .


Yes - I can imagine one hating, say, Caligula or even - though it is a masterpiece - A Clockwork Orange... but hating The Wife?! Indifference, I can understand - but hatred is a bit too much honestly. Or maybe I'm just too old and I would never spend energy (and hating something needs energy) on such a minor, though watchable, effort.

Well, "hated" may be a strong word. Sometimes my initial reaction leads to stronger feelings than I have when I have a week or two of distance. But I just had zero patience for its pretensions to being some Grande Literary Drama. It thinks it's Chekhov or Ibsen, when it's not even John Patrick Shanley.

Ironically, I read about some changes that the movie made from the original novel, and they all appear to be changes that make the story less interesting, in my opinion. The prize in the book is not the Nobel, but is instead a fictional prize called the Helsinki Prize, which is a prestigious but lower-tier price that is given to writers who probably won't win the Nobel. Another was that during the climactic fight, Close's character began physically pushing and hitting her husband before his heart attack.

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Re: The Wife

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:59 pm

The Original BJ wrote:I'm more in line with Mister Tee's take than those that flat-out HATED it .


Yes - I can imagine one hating, say, Caligula or even - though it is a masterpiece - A Clockwork Orange... but hating The Wife?! Indifference, I can understand - but hatred is a bit too much honestly. Or maybe I'm just too old and I would never spend energy (and hating something needs energy) on such a minor, though watchable, effort. What can I say? Interesting theme, but it's true that it could have led to a much deeper, and even narratively more complex, movie. Even Close's final outburst - when it finally happens, and it HAD to happen - could have been much better written (if it had been, it could have redeemed the film).
Still, Close is good. Her performance is more intelligent and more nuanced than the vehicle itself, but of course I don't think she SHOULD win an Oscar for such a flawed little thing. And will she win?I I can't believe that she will get many precursor awards - with the possible exception of the National Board of Review prize (maybe the Golden Globe, who knows). But I'm not even sure that it will only depend on the competition - Geraldine Page won for a much worse performance and her competition was strong. I think the main problem - the reason why right now I'd say she won't - is the movie itself - and yes, Page's movie was dreadful, but at least it was based on a prestigious play by a respected writer. The Wife is so unmemorable that only Blue Sky comes to mind as a possible precedent.

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Re: The Wife

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:52 pm

I'm more in line with Mister Tee's take than those that flat-out HATED it -- I found it engaging enough, with a decent conceit, but thought its execution was on the hum-drum side, even when making allowances for the limited nature of such a smallish vehicle.

SPOILERS ARE GOING TO FOLLOW

I think my biggest problem with the film is a structural one, because the structure really prevented the movie from exploring its central idea to a degree of complexity that most of us might have wished. I have a general issue with films that feel the need to present their twists as a possibility before confirming them later on -- I think it REALLY zaps all sense of surprise/momentum from a narrative. I'd heard there was a significant narrative turn going in, and purposely avoided reading reviews for that reason, so when the film got to that Close/Slater scene where he raises the question of whether or not SHE wrote the novels, I thought, oh that's interesting, assuming that whatever the twist was would be an additional turn that took the story in a surprising direction. So I found it pretty much a letdown when a chunk of time later, the movie...basically just confirmed EXACTLY what Slater's character had suggested in that scene.

There are all kinds of ways this could have been handled in a more interesting fashion. The turn could have been saved for later on, when it would have had some real impact -- I immediately thought of how much more emotionally startling a similar plot development at the end of Act One in Proof played ("I wrote it!"). OR, the film could have revealed this earlier, giving it quite a bit more time to delve into the issues many of you raise below. (And I have to disagree with Greg -- I don't think the intention of the film is for you to assume this plot development from the jump, though I'm surprised how many critics have revealed it in their reviews.)

I didn't think the film was as simplistic about this revelation as some of you -- the flashback scenes seemed to suggest that both partners were making significant enough contributions to the material, with her having essentially more raw talent/inspiration, but him having a knowledge of craft that allowed him to refine to a notable degree. It seemed to me this was more complicated than what it might have been -- she wrote everything and he took the credit -- though I agree that the details of their professional and romantic relationship and how it progressed over time were left far too vague, to the movie's detriment. (I, too, thought it would have been interesting to know if she had ever thought about going public about things, and how that affected their relationship going forward.)

I probably liked both Close and Pryce better than anyone else here, with Pryce pretty perfectly capturing a kind of academic type who presents as pseudo-intellectual while having thoroughly boorish tendencies underneath. And I think Close plays a lot of moments in the first half quite effectively -- she's gifted a lot of reaction shots that the actress makes compelling in quiet ways, clearly hiding a lifetime worth of hurt beneath her outward demeanor, finally allowing that to explode in the late-film moments. But I do agree that she seems miscast as a Best Actress winner for a role that isn't all that dominant, unless the overdue narrative comes to take over completely. I saw the film opening weekend and thought, if she has a slate like Julianne Moore did -- a bunch of actresses with no narrative in minor movies -- she could end up a de facto winner, but if she's got decent competition, it's hard to see her prevailing. Given that the year seems to be providing us the later, I think she's got an uphill battle.

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Re: The Wife

Postby Greg » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:54 pm

SPOILERS???

I pretty much figured out that the Close character was the real author just from watching the trailer.
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Re: The Wife

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:40 pm

Uri wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:I simply don't get what persuaded critics and bloggers to react so strongly to the performance last year


Once the Oscar narrative was set, and in this case it seemed to happen when people learned what the premise of the film was and the fact that Close, highly respected yet Oscar free, had a leading role in a "serious" film. The actual performance became secondary, still the canonizing of it is required in order to build up that said Oscar narrative. It happened in the past with Geraldine Page (with what was a subpar performance) or Susan Sarandon (a good, but not THAT good one).


See, my memory of last year at Toronto is different. I had heard not one word about The Wife prior to the screening...it could have been one of many films cast aside once audiences got a look at it and dismissed it. Instead, immediately after the screening, bloggers and critics leaped to announce that this was a huge achievement for Close, and she could possibly win an Oscar for it. The reaction seemed fully wedded to what they'd seen on screen, not what they'd gone in expecting. Broader critical response this year, when the general release came, is another matter: at that point, the narrative was fully in effect, and much of the publicity and the reviews probably were the result of being marinated in that expectation. But last year, it seemed spontaneous. And I simply can't comprehend why people had that reaction.

The Julianne Moore/Still Alice situation is analogous. Going into the initial screening, there was zero reason to have any expectation about the film. Julianne Moore had done many movies over the preceding decade, movies in which she was often quite good but the material wasn't awards-friendly; this could easily have been another. It was reaction to what was on-screen that made people suggest Moore could be an Oscar contender -- and, given her long and impressive resume, that quickly gelled into a successful She Must Win narrative.

The difference, for me, is that when I later saw Moore's performance, I could understand why that reaction happened. When I saw Close's the other day, I could not. The only thing I can think of is that Close's work seemed impressive when it came without expectation, but didn't pass muster for those of us who came in anticipating a prize-level performance.

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Re: The Wife

Postby Reza » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:53 am

Precious Doll wrote:Also, doesn't Peter O'Toole hold to record for the most acting nominations without a win?


Yes

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Re: The Wife

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:06 am

Reza wrote:Susan Hayward (on her 5th nod in 1958)
Gregory Peck (on his 5th nod in 1962)
Henry Fonda (on his 2nd nod but 41 years after his first)
Maureen Stapleton (on her 4th nod in 1981)
Shirley MacLaine (on her 5th nod in 1983)
Geraldine Page (on her 8th nod in 1985)
Paul Newman (on his 7th nod in 1986 - would go on to win two more nods later)
Al Pacino (on his 8th nod in 1992)
Susan Sarandon (on her 5th nod in 1995)
Kate Winslet (on her 5th nod in 2008)
Jeff Bridges (on his 5th nod in 2009 - won 2 more nods later)
Julianne Moore (on her 5th nod in 2014)
Leonardo DiCaprio (on his 5th nod in 2015)


Yes, but those winners were either up against weak competition, had something extra going on and/or were the front-runners going into the home stretch.

Hayward - strong precursor winner, representing a social cause (ending capital punishment), known to be the survivor of more than one suicide attempt - toughest competition: Rosalind Russell (4th nomination)

Peck - beloved character - toughest competition: newcomer Peter O'Toole

Fonda - the father of a two-time Best Actress winner known to be gravely ill, in one of his better performances, passed over many times for equally strong performances - toughest competition: previous winner Burt Lancaster

Stapleton - her best big screen performance with absolutely no competition

MacLaine - an iconic performance - toughest competition: Debra Winger as her daughter in the same film

Page - a makeup Oscar for sure, but a highly popular one - toughest competition: Whoopi Goldberg in her film debut

Newman - the most obvious makeup Oscar, albeit one against weak competition - toughest competition: Bob Hoskins

Pacino - the Academy loves handicapped characters - toughest competition: former winner Denzel Washington

Sarandon - playing a real-life person, a chance to make up for passing all those earlier nominated nuns by (Berman, Kerr, Hepburn, etc.) - toughest competition: Emma Thompson, who won for Best Screenplay instead

Winslet - it was widely deemed her time, would have won whether nominated in lead or support as she was campaigned for - toughest competition: Meryl Streep in serious quest of a third win

Bridges - a makeup Oscar in a weak year - toughest competition: first time nominee Colin Firth who won the following year

Moore - a really weak year and a makeup win not only for her but for a character with Alzheimer's disease - toughest competition: former winner Marion Cotillard who won over Julie Christie playing a character with Alzheimer's

DiCaprio - the anticipated winner for a whole year before his film was even released - roughest competition: Michael Fassbender on his second nomination

Close, by comparison, is in a weak spot. Hers is far from the best reviewed performance of the year. She is presumed to be in excellent health and despite her age is capable of giving a far more Oscar worthy performance. Whether she'll have the opportunity no one knows, but as long as the possibility exists she won't win on sentiment alone.
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Re: The Wife

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:56 am

Or course some of those wins were subjectively really well deserved anyway like Susan Hayward, Gregory Peck, Maureen Stapleton, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon & Julianne Moore.

Also, doesn't Peter O'Toole hold to record for the most acting nominations without a win?
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