This film relates to “A Quiet Place”. There are quiet moments that commands the audience to focus on what is happening internally. Then there are scenes that boom against the walls, the arguments, the limousine rides, captivating in a whole other realm. Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) is the wife of the masterful and lauded novelist Joseph Castleman (Jonathan Pryce). A secret unravels over the course of events as Joseph receives his Nobel Peace Prize in Literature.
Glenn Close gives a performance. She is extraordinary while playing a character who is strong willed and loving. Christian Slater plays an unnerving character Nathanial Bone with the most determination and charm. Max Irons is profound as David, Joan and Joseph’s son, who battles his professional demons with close understanding to his mother’s strife. Jonathan Pryce is powerful. Glenn and Jonathan, as their characters, meet each other in the most thunderous of passion and time. Annie Starke glows confidently as Young Joan. Harry Lloyd, Karin Franz Körlof and Elizabeth McGovern lead the supporting cast. Each performance compliments the strength of the story.
Writer Jane Anderson adapts the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer. The screenplay is sharp and brilliantly written. A flashback nicely weaves in the relationship between Joan and Joseph, providing more context to the present. Joseph was wildly needy and manipulative. Director Björn Runge brings in the intimacy of each scene, making everything feel alive. Seeing the snippets of Sweden was lovely along with Connecticut. Production Designer Mark Leese with flare recreated 1950s Smith College among other time periods in the film.
I did not like the ending. I loved that Joan maintained her voice. Towards the ends, there was a sacrifice she endures in order to rediscover herself, which I think deterred from her prowess.