A look at The Mission and Zama, two films that offer contrasting depictions of colonialism.
** ½ (out of 4)
WARNING: Some spoilers in review.
Björn Runge’s The Wife concerns an occasion that ought to be happy. It’s the fall of 1992, and Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), a hugely successful author, learns that he’s won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Naturally, the news leaves him elated; right after receiving the early-morning phone call, he jumps up and down on his bed, shouting “I won the Nobel!” like an eight-year-old. Yet despite her statements to the contrary, Joe’s wife Joan (Glenn Close) never really seems to share in his excitement. Eventually, we learn why: Joe’s “profound” and “groundbreaking” novels were actually all ghostwritten by her.
The Workshop: *
The Guardians: *** ½
Whether you’re looking at their intentions or the ways they go about realizing said intentions, two recent French films offer a marked study in contrasts.