THE WIFE (15)
THE WIFE (15)
Run time: 100 MINS
Director: Björn Runge
Cast: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Harry Lloyd, Annie Starke, Elisabeth McGovern
Synopsis: On the eve of her husband’s Nobel Prize for Literature, Joan has reached a turning point: she will confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and some long-buried secrets.
Swedish director Bjorn Runge [Happy End (2011), Mouth to Mouth (2005), Daybreak (2003)] with a screenplay by Jane Anderson, based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer, brings this impeccably made drama to the screen with an utterly stunning lead performance from Glenn Close [Damages (TV, 2007-12), Albert Nobbs (2011), Fatal Attraction (1987)] as Joan Castleman – a wife who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her narcissistic husband, who is set to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
She has spent forty years sacrificing her own talent, dreams and ambitions to support her charismatic husband Joe [Jonathan Pryce – Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Wolf Hall (2015), Taboo (2017)] and his stellar literary career. Ignoring infidelities and excuses made in the cause of his art, she has put up with his behaviour with undiminished grace and humour. The foundations of their marriage have, however, been built upon a set of uneven compromises and Joan has reached a turning point. On the eve of Joe’s Nobel Prize for Literature, the crown jewel rewarding a spectacular body of work, Joan will confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and some long-buried secrets.
Exquisite performances of extraordinary power from the two leads as their complex marital issues surface are backed by a strong ensemble, headed by Christian Slater [True Romance (1993), Mr Robot (TV, 2015-19)] as a persistent, stalker-like, would-be biographer of the Laureate.
Max Irons [The Host (2013), Woman in Gold (2015), Dorian Gray (2009)] is the couple’s son Joe, also a budding writer. Annie Starke (Close’s real-life daughter) plays the young Joan Castleman and Harry Lloyd plays the young Joe. Elizabeth McGovern [Downton Abbey (TV, 2010-15), Once Upon a Time in America (1994)] has a telling cameo as a minor author.
The Wife is a heartrending and emotional tale, a celebration of self-discovery and liberation, which will prove to be a clear nomination winner for the superb Glenn Close.
Images courtesy of PICTUREHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT