The Wife

The Wife


Secrets lie between the lines.

Glenn Close decides to leave her husband (Jonathan Pryce) while travelling in Europe in this drama based on Meg Wolitzer's novel.... More

After spending forty years sacrificing her dreams to fan the flames of her charismatic husband Joe (Pryce) and his literary career, fed-up wife Joan (Close) decides to end their relationship on the eve of Joe's Nobel Prize win.Hide

Flicks Review

Based on Meg Woltizer’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Wife follows Joan Castleman and her novelist husband Joe as they travel to Stockholm so that he can be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. A veritable power couple, Joan is to Joe the ultimate alpha wife and the cornerstone of their family - yet, as we flash back to their courtship when Joan was an impressionable and gifted young writing student and Joe her married English professor, it quickly becomes apparent that things between the pair (and Joe’s much lauded body of work) are not what they seem.... More

In the wake of last year’s Harvey Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo movement, conversations around the recognition and value of women’s labour are finally being had, and to these The Wife makes a thoughtful and engaging contribution. Played with subtle brilliance by Glenn Close (and, in flashback, by her real-life daughter Annie Starke), Joan’s plight will be a familiar one for women used to the everyday trade-offs of professional life - and by laying out the long-term consequences of one such compromise, The Wife offers a truly cutting critique of the men who exploit them.

As grim as this may sound, however, Joan is never portrayed as a victim – on the contrary, as she comes to terms with the extent to which she has been wronged, so too do Joan’s qualities of strength and resilience reveal themselves.

The Wife may be a rumination on the short-changing of women in their professional and personal lives, but a nuanced and cautiously optimistic one – positing, almost radically, that it is never too late for women to take control.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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Close at her absolute best! The way she embodies Joan, the seemingly composed, but unmistakably repressed wife literary star, Joe Castleton (Pryce, who also achieves a stellar performance) is captivating from the opening to closing titles. The film is also evocative of the issues and themes highlighted by the Times Up movement. However, the subtle complexities and shades of grey of Joan's self-identification as 'The Wife' make this a far from predictable story.

The Press Reviews

  • Though not formally daring and fairly conventional in its storytelling, this is a quality picture which should appeal to arthouse audiences in festivals and elsewhere. Full Review

  • This is an unmissable movie for Glenn Close fans. Actually, you can't watch it without being a fan. Full Review

  • [Close] is a marvel of twisty understatement here, delivering emotions that conceal as much as they reveal, and offering onion-like layers that invite repeat viewings in light of some of the film's later revelations. Full Review

  • Like a bomb ticking away toward detonation, Glenn Close commands the center of The Wife: still, formidable and impossible to look away from. Full Review

  • Close must be one of the most controlled actresses on the screen. She works incrementally, building this performance bit by bit with tight smiles and wary, knowing looks. Full Review

  • Glenn Close is perfectly cast. One of cinema’s great Sphinxes, she glides smoothly through the crush of her husband’s acolytes, as the well-meant humiliations pile up. Full Review

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