The Wife

I see one movie a week in theaters without fail since the first week of 2014. So I get to see most of the things I want to and feel apart of the conversation. Then there are weeks where I’m seeing something I have no real interest in. I’ll usually go to these alone and on a whim. More often then not I’m taken be these experiences. Earlier this year I saw Tully and it kinda floored me, I mean I was thinking about it for weeks, and of course, nobody saw it making it hard for me to unpack my thoughts on it.

The Wife is not officially released in the United States until August 18th so there haven’t been many reviews. While the reviews I glanced were generally positive most of them disregarded the core cast apart from Glen Close. This film is about Glen Close’s character, but it doesn’t mean she has any more screen time then her co-star, Jonathan Pryce. The Wife is the story of an award-winning writer, Joe Castleman finding out he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. While the focus is on Joe, it is his wife, Joan Castleman with whom we see constantly in the background watching Joe only paces ahead, yet always ahead of her. The relationship becomes understood throughout the film as to why she has taken the back seat to his acclaim. It’s the portrait of Joan that makes this simple film engaging. However, it is Joe who is the more interesting character to me, as I found the more we learn about their relationship the more my initial feelings for Joe changed over the course of the film.


The Wife is a movie you would really enjoy if you are a fan of biopics like me. By the end of the film, I was convinced this was based on a true story. I quickly googled it as I exited the theater, only to find it was taken from a novel. It did specific things that made it remarkable by how much I believed it to be a true story. The secrets that are unearthed by the end are not unexpected, though they are executed very well. The ending was a mute one for me, that seemed too convenient for me. I hope there is some awards chatter for The Wife at the end of the year so more people will check it out. Currently, I would place it in my top three of 2018.

Robert Ring


Best Movies of 2018: Jan-June

I have seen most of the major blockbusters of 2018, and not many of them did it for me. The amount of comic book films we are getting is absurd, and I now find them inane. That’s not the most absurd part. What is ridiculous is the expectation of most of these Marvel films reliance on the knowledge of previous films. Avengers: Infinity War is one of the messiest blockbusters I’ve seen in a long time. Infinity War was one giant third act that ended with a cliffhanger that seemingly belittles the audience. Also, shout out to Red Sparrow for being one of the most repulsive films I’ve ever seen.

Here are my top five so far, ranging from best to slightly less than best.


A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is easily the front-runner for my favourite film of 2018 so far. Directed by and starring John Krasinski, the story is a very Cloverfield/Twilight Zone like tale. Lee Abbott (Krasinski), and his family are living in a world post-alien invasion. The aliens are agile predators that will decimate any living thing that makes a sound. The Abbott’s have learned to survive by making no noise and communicating with sign language. The story takes twists and turns as the tension rises making even the audience hold their breath so they would not alert the creatures.


Tully is something I went into on a whim. The trailers produced what appeared to be a slice of motherhood. Tully is a slice of motherhood, but not in the way one usually finds. The children in the movie are there, yet it is never about them. Tully does not lead up to a finale that has her become the mother of the year watching her children perform in a school play. No, Tully goes into the psychological disposition of motherhood, and it is entirely unflinching. There is a moment near the end that threads the needle through the entire film that makes it an excellent movie over a good one.


People are very mixed on Hereditary. Those who outright dislike the film are either very disturbed by a particular scene at the end of the first act or find it too slow. The scene is disturbing and an act of aggression on the emotions. Apart from that scene, the movie feels like a family drama that amps up in the last twenty minutes with modern horror spooks. Toni Collette has delivered an Oscar-nominated performance for one dinner scene in particular. Hereditary is an excellent film that does not necessarily break any new ground but adds to the benchmark.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This movie is hard to recommend due to the title of the film. If you attempt to voice this movie, you begin to blabber. You start to play scrabble with all the words in the title trying to say them in the correct order, “Was it The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary Society?” Even when the title has been stated correctly, it still sounds wrong. I digress. Lilly James plays a best selling author who comes to see a small community that banded together during the war. It becomes apparent to the author that there is more to the society and she chooses to try and uncover it. The movie is a decent little mystery film that works too hard to try to get you to care about the pure mystery surrounding the society. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a cute little mystery film with a love triangle for good measure.


Peter Rabbit
I have never seen a christening where someone has not received a plate/bowl/cup with the adorable Peter Rabbit decorating the wares. The Peter Rabbit found as christening gifts is not the same one in this movie. This Peter Rabbit is like a college sophomore. He is optimistic and looking to party, perhaps due to the voice of James Corden. The movie strikes an odd balance of looney tune action to dire turns. This unevenness turned me off the movie in the beginning, but as the characters began to get fleshed out, I was all in. Peter Rabbit is a turf war between Peter and the neighbor that is fun for the kids and endearing enough for the adults too.

As an honorable mention, I enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story as well. Solo is a fun space western that is being overlooked by most filmgoers.

I am quite sure that my list of favorites for the first half of 2018 is unique to me. I’m even more excited for what else is coming for the second half now that the majority of the superhero films are behind us.

Robert Ring