CLINTON — This Monday the Kirkland Town Library will present “The Wife” as its afternoon movie at 2 p.m. And while Glenn Close is the lead actor and a widely recognizable name, Annie Starke is special, or should be, as a Hamilton College graduate who returns to Clinton on the big screen. Well, as big as the library screen is.
That’s right Annie Starke, the daughter of six time Academy Award nominee and Hollywood icon Glenn Close (The Big Chill, Fatal Attraction) and film producer John Starke plays her mother’s role of Joan Castleman 25 years younger in the film’s flashback scenes. Jonathan Pryce (Ronin, Evita) portrays Professor Joseph Castleman, Joan’s husband, and gives an outstanding performance of a good man with flaws.
Professor Castleman is also depicted as a younger man by British actor, Harry Lloyd (Jane Eyre, The Riot Club) who as Joan’s teacher, takes her down a road of dark and dreary circumstances. Christian Slater is back, this time as an inquiring mind looking for the secret no one is willing to tell.
The film is thought provoking, intense and very well acted. You think, well ...it’s Glenn Close, of course it’s superb. But what’s surprising is how well acted, the subtle nature of Close’s character, so well done it’s almost surreal. You keep waiting for someone to say...“oh my lord...it’s real.” Wonderfully crafted is Close’s performance, so much that her most powerful scenes don’t even involve lines.
Joe and Joan are as opposite as any two people could be. She’s a worker, he’s a slacker. He’s gregarious, she’s shy and introverted. And when good luck falls upon them, it’s not long before it turns to bad luck. It’s a story about how ambition, the lust for fame and small betrayals to achieve it can erode even the strongest of devotion one has for another.
Just as a side note, this is the second time Starke has portrayed a younger version of her mother’s character. She also did the same in the the 2017 film, “Father Figures.”
A 2010 graduate of Hamilton College, earning a degree in art history, Starke’s brief appearance with her famous mother at Don’s Rok Bar has been village rumor since that time. Now her movie is playing just a stone’s throw from that very location.
A wonderful story, adapted from the Meg Wolitzer novel this film gets all five bags of popcorn on my bags of popcorn rating system. Showtime is 2 p.m. at the Kirkland Town Library. Admission is free. Snacks will be served. This film is rated R.