HE to Indiewire podcasters Eric Kohn, Anne Thompson: I’m listening to a Best Actress discussion on your latest Screen Talk podcast, and waiting for a mention of The Wife‘s Glenn Close, whom 22 out of 25 Gold Derby spitballers regard as a prime Best Actress contender and whom Deadline‘s Pete Hammond has predicted a nomination for.
Olivia Colman, Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Charlize Theron, Rosamund Pike and even Hereditary‘s Toni Collette are discussed, but not Close. And all I can say is “you guys are amazing.”
Is this because of Anne’s unfortunate opinion that The Wife is okay but not exceptional? But it is exceptional and actually rather riveting. It’s a “play,” yes, but a very well written and expertly performed one, with a nicely layered build-up to the big payoff at the end. It works, it delivers, it knocks people out.
And what about the metaphor of Close’s character — the brushed-aside but stronger, smarter and more talented wife who lets her husband have it at the end? It fits right into the zeitgeist in a certain sense (i.e., silver-haired women have had it up to here) and is hugely popular with the over-55 set. I’ve attended two screenings with a somewhat older industry crowd, and Close’s performance is a very big thing with them. The after-buzz was palpable both times, trust me, and you guys are ignoring this?
Don’t tell me you’re giving it the Indiewire brush-off because Sony Classics opened The Wife in August. That’s so shallow, so herd-mentality.
Side-issue: Thompson predicts that The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman is going to win the Best Actress race. She may, I suppose, except she’s not even playing a lead character, and that’s a fact.
Colman was shoehorned into the Best Actress category because her handlers wanted to take her out of the supporting category in the minds of producers and agents — they decided to “game” the nomination narrative in order to elevate Colman’s inside-Hollywood identity. And of course you guys don’t even glance in that direction.
You’re such go-alongs, such spinners…playing along with distributor-approved narratives. So politically softball, so obedient, so dedicated to sidestepping.