Joan (Glenn Close) accompanies her husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) on a trip to Sweden to pick up his Nobel Prize for Literature. If foreshadowing isn’t your strong suit, which is clearly the case for Swedish director Björn Runge, why bother to introduce an element of mystery? It’s obvious where this is going when, at the five-minute mark, Pryce insists upon Close listening in on the extension when the call from Stockholm arrives. A why-they-dunit outdoes a whodunit at every turn. It might not have been so bad had the road to the big reveal been paved with insight and originality, but other than the performances, there is nothing here audiences haven’t seen more times than they have their own feet. Helping to turn an already miserable trip into an even bigger downer are Christian Slater as a bothersome biographer looking to stir the shit between husband and wife and Max Irons rounding out the bottom half of a second-rate father-son rivalry (2018) — Scott Marks
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