And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: Four Good Days

Four Good Days is a movie about addiction and the toll that the cycle of rehab and relapse can take on relationships and family. We’ve seen it all before — many times in fact. And this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack, buoyed by solid performances from Mila Kunis and Glenn Close as a mother and daughter navigating issues of trust and love, frustration and disappointment. It’s based on a true story by Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post writer Eli Saslow who co-wrote the screenplay with director Rodrigo García (Albert Nobbs, Mother and Child).  For the most part, Four Good Days sticks remarkably close to the narrative featured in the 2016 Post article.

Quickie Reviews: The Wife; The Happytime Murders; Skate Kitchen; Support the Girls

The Wife is a slow-burn drama with a mystery twist that explores the relationship between Joan and Joe Castleman (Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce), a long-married couple who travel to Sweden to collect his newly-awarded Nobel Prize for Literature. The two seem to complement each other in style and temperament, with Joan playing the doting, charming, graceful and diplomatic wife and mother while Joe oozes vanity, selfishness and a philandering spirit. There does appear to be true love at the core of the relationship, but there’s a simmering resentment that threatens to boil over in Joan as the award ceremony approaches. We learn why through a series of flashbacks to Joan and Joe’s courtship and from their present-day interactions with a writer (Christian Slater) who is trying to convince the Castlemans to let him write Joe’s definitive biography.

Albert Nobbs

What an odd little film! Every few years a gender switching film comes along and everyone gets excited about it (Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously, Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.) This time Glenn Close plays the title character Albert Nobbs, a timid little butler in a second-rate Dublin hotel around the turn of the 20th century. The film has a very Upstairs, Downstairs feeling, mostly downstairs, with one of the maids getting knocked up by a handyman, a typhoid scare shutting down the hotel, and the usual petty personality quirks keeping things interesting. Unfortunately, the character at the center of this film, Albert Nobbs, is not part of the fun.