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Claire (Lena Olin) lives a domestic life in the Hamptons as the wife of celebrated artist Richard Smythson (Bruce Dern). Once a promising painter herself, Claire now lives in the shadow of her husband’s illustrious career. While preparing work for his final show, Richard’s moods become increasingly erratic, and he is diagnosed with dementia. As his memory and behavior deteriorate, she shields his condition from the art community while trying to reconnect him with his estranged daughter and grandson from a previous marriage. Challenged by the loss of her world as she knew it, Claire must now decide whether to stand with Richard on the sidelines or step into the spotlight herself. (95 mins)
“The revelation here is Lena Olin, who gets her best role in years as the artist’s second wife, Claire, an artist in her own right who gave it all up to make a home with and for a demanding husband.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s entirely possible that The Artist’s Wife would have hit the same pitch-perfect notes had it been set during a long hot summer. But the wintery ambiance enhanced by Ryan Earl Parker’s evocative cinematography feels altogether appropriate for a story about one life winding down, and another on the verge of a restorative spring.” – Joe Leydon, Variety