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The ByTowne is now closed.

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The Artist's Wife

The greatest art is learning how to love.

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In The Artist’s Wife, Lena Olin plays Claire Smythson. She lives a wealthy, idle life in the Hamptons, while her husband, a famous abstract artist, moves into the twilight of his career. Once a promising painter herself, Claire has stayed in the shadows – until now.

Forced into the forefront while preparing work for his final show, Claire realizes that Richard’s always mercurial moods are becoming increasingly erratic. He’s never been a very nice person, but how he is acting now is beyond the pale, so she gets him to a doctor.

Not surprisingly, he is diagnosed with dementia. As his memory, behaviour, and artistic abilities deteriorate, Claire shields his condition from the curators of the exhibit. And as she tries to find a way for Richard to still have his last moment in the spotlight, she also struggles to reconnect him to his estranged adult daughter.

The Artist’s Wife is a solid drama with excellent acting by its two leads and supporting cast. It is an absorbing character study on the effects of a life of denial and what could happen to a middle-aged woman when given new, unexpected opportunities.

– Staci Layne Wilson, At Home in Hollywood


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