Sunday, September 9, 2018

'The Wife' and 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Two new movies: The Wife is based on one of Meg Wolitzer's early novels--her penultimate one, The Interestings, was very good. She writes wonderfully and in Glenn Close, her leading character was played perfectly.

Jonathan Pryce is also excellent as the supremely egotistical husband: I did not see him in the original Miss Saigon but I do recall his initial  appearance on Broadway in Trevor Griffiths's play, Comedians, in which he plays a young British comedian with a totally different style. The promoter auditioning the comics discerns how good the young comic will be even though he realizes that his shtick is unlikely to succeed at first and in the provinces.

Close does deserve awards here and should get them even though I am skeptical of so-called sympathy votes. She should win this time on the merits. Her role requires her maintaining a closed exterior and as some reviews have noted, the movie does not include her witty lines in the novel as narrator.

Crazy Rich Asians is a fun picture, not to be taken too seriously but enjoyed. It's yet another example in our times of identity culture of a story that makes fun of its ethnic group but is seen as acceptable because the producers, cast, and crew are all member of the group. This does not take away from the picture's being well-made and clever.

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