Only those you trust can truly betray you – ‘THE WIZARD OF LIES’ Reviews Summary

‘The Wizard of Lies’ – Michelle’s first HBO movie with Robert De Niro, finally hit the TV screen tonight at 8:00pm in the U.S time, tons of reviews just came out these few days and most of them really LOVE Michelle’s performance and praise her amazing Ruth Madoff accent, here are the highlights:

    • Pfeiffer is perfectly cast as the wife who slowly realizes the deliberateness with which she avoided learning anything about her husband, his business, her complicity in it all. “What’s a Ponzi scheme?” Ruth asks in an early scene. When her hairdresser of 15 years refuses to keep Ruth on as a client, we see the reality of her husband’s crimes finally hit home. – Josephine Livingstone, New Republic
    • Pfeiffer, using a nasal outerborough accent, really delivers, showing how Ruth’s reluctant awareness of her husband’s depravity presents its own moral quandary. During a prison visit, she tells him, “Even if you had told me, I’m not sure I would have turned you in. I don’t know what that says about me. That’s the tragedy of it.” Her deadpan reaction when a newscaster compares her to Bonnie Parker may win Pfeiffer an Emmy. “How am I Bonnie?” she asks, cigarette dangling. “Bonnie was a killer. I ain’t Bonnie.” – Robert Rorke, New York Post
    • Michelle Pfeiffer steals scenes in HBO’s Bernie Madoff movie: I spent a good portion of my adolescence knowing with full certainty that, if I were ever granted a dying wish, it would be for Michelle Pfeiffer to serenade me with “Cool Rider,” her big number from “Grease 2.” Even today, were I given, say, three dying wishes, that still would be firmly in the mix. So you can imagine how thrilling it was to see the actress, who’s worked rather sparingly this millennium, as Ruth Madoff to Robert De Niro’s Bernie in “The Wizard of Lies” (8 p.m. Saturday, HBO). ; while it’s a relief to once again see De Niro in a quality project that has nothing to do with Martin Scorsese or David O. Russell, “The Wizard of Lies’ ” greatest special effect is Pfeiffer. “What do I have to do with it? Why does the world hate me? They all think I’m some kind of a mastermind,” her Ruth complains as she matter-of-factly readies her jewelry to give to family and friends so she can swallow a bowl full of Ambien and die in peace. “But anybody in the know knows you weren’t the mastermind,” Bernie tells her. “That’s nonsense.” “Thanks,” she replies, dryly. “I already wanna kill myself. You wanna make me feel worse?” It’s that type of moment that makes it such a remarkable feeling to see Pfeiffer on screen again. – Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal
    • To play the devastated Ruth, Pfeiffer takes on a Queens accent that isn’t so thick that it’s cartoonish. She’s about to lose to incarceration her husband of 50 years — the man she calls “my lifeline” — and Pfeiffer, all raw and fragile, has a way of cracking open your heart. – Chuck Barney, East Bay Times
    • The most impressive performance in the movie comes from Michelle Pfeiffer as Madoff’s wife, Ruth, who spent nearly her entire life supporting and relying on her husband, only to have all of that shattered in an instant. – Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
    • As Ruth, Pfeiffer convincingly portrays a pampered woman left with utterly nothing — she’s lost her homes, status and, most important, her relationship with her sons. They turned in their father and refuse to speak to Ruth unless she cuts ties all together with the imprisoned Madoff. But he is all she knows, and Pfeiffer makes us feel that slow and painful awakening as Ruth comes to terms with the fact she too was deceived by her lifelong partner (She and De Niro played a couple who headed up a crime family in 2013’s “The Family.”) – Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times
    • That’s true for Ruth, too. She spends the movie in a daze, barely cognizant of how her whole world ended. But Pfeiffer is stunning. She plays the part with a Queens accent so thick it’s funny, but Pfeiffer digs past rich-housewife-gone-broke schadenfreude, and find the heartbreakingly confused tragedy. She’s been demolished – by the man she loved, and the lives he ruined. She doesn’t understand how, can’t really grasp why. Neither do we. – Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
    • Pfeiffer does a superb job as Ruth – David Wiegand, San Francisco Times
    • Michelle Pfeiffer, rocking a mesmerizing Queens accent. – Ben Travers, IndieWire
    • The big emotional beats go to Madoff’s wife Ruth (a tart and terrific Michelle Pfieffer) and his kids (Alessandro Nivola and Nathan Darrow) – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
    • Mostly, “The Wizard of Lies” is a film of fantastic acting beats—the way Pfeiffer captures a mother choosing husband over sons; the way Nivola’s paranoia builds as he realizes the public hates him too; the matter-of-fact decisions of a suicide attempt by the Madoffs when they saw no other way out. – Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert
    • The film looks into Ruth Madoff a bit, with Michelle Pfeiffer doing a decent job portraying a mixture of muted anger at Bernie and loyalty to him. – Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
    • As Madoff’s wife, Ruth, Michelle Pfeiffer is far more expressive (and, in this adaptation, depicted free of any guilt). But, like everyone else in his life, she remains oblivious to his trespasses, and for that, she pays a terrible price. As does everyone affected. – Zach Hollwedel, Under The Radar
    • De Niro and Pfeiffer inhabit these roles so fully that you forget they’re De Niro and Pfeiffer — no small feat considering their statures. – Verne Gay, Newsday
    • But for the most part, the Madoff clan is portrayed by very fine actors trying their best to give life and specificity to shallow characters. One hopes that Michelle Pfeiffer’s next TV project — and there should be a next one — takes greater advantage of her many talents. – Maureen Ryan, Variety
    • Accentuating Ruth’s confusion and an occasionally broad Queens accent, Pfeiffer’s performance is like a sad spin on her classic comic turn in Married to the Mob. Here, the actress plays the shell of a woman who has been obliviously shackled to evil for too long. It’s too late for Ruth to extricate herself, and she can only express bafflement at being treated by the media as a potential evil genius when she’s clearly not. – Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter
    • Pfeiffer doesn’t get the sort of scenes that would match her talent, but she has her moments, especially during a scene on Christmas Eve where Ruth decides to end it all by downing all the Ambien she can find. – Hank Stuever, The Washington Post
    • An excellent Michelle Pfeiffer – Jarrod Walker, FILMINK
    • Recent dramas like The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short, Gold, and even last year’s TV mini-series Madoff have also tried to make financial crimes more relatable. But The Wizard of Lies is offensively trite, despite strong performances from De Niro and Pfeiffer, and typically effective direction from Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog, Diner). – Simon Abrams, the guardian
    • Beyond the work of Levinson and De Niro, there are strong supporting performances by Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff and Hank Azaria as Frank DiPascali, the longtime Madoff employe who ran the Ponzi scheme on a day-to-day basis. You can count on hearing Azaria’s name at Emmy time. – David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun
    • Pfeiffer sinks into her role as a socialite stunned to be shunned, even if too much of her dialogue is just too on point to be authentic. – Mark Perigard, Boston Herald
    • As Madoff’s wife, Ruth, Michelle Pfeiffer has a few moving moments, such as her reaction to a rejection at a hair salon, but there’s little to distinguish this character from any number of clueless crime-film housewives. – Chuck Bowen, Slant
    • At first, I thought Michelle Pfeiffer’s Ruth Madoff was a bit of a caricature — a distant cousin to Elaine May’s badgering-mother sketch with Mike Nichols. Then I read that Pfeiffer had spent time with Ruth, and I looked at video of Ruth being interviewed: Pfeiffer isn’t exaggerating at all — she’s got her down cold. – Ken Tucker, Yahoo TV
    • De Niro plays Madoff as a cool and calm hustler who, after the 2008 crash, runs out of tricks and finally admits to swindling over $50 billion from people since the 1970s (he’s currently serving a 150-year prison sentence). Levinson takes a complex financial story and turns it into a heartbreaking family saga, in which the patriarch fails his loyal children, Mark (who committed suicide in 2010) and Andrew (who died of lymphoma in 2014), along with his wife, Ruth (extraordinarily played by Michelle Pfeiffer). – Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider

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