7.4/10
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60 user 89 critic

The Wife (2017)

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In 3 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Director:

Björn Runge (as Björn L Runge)

Writers:

Jane Anderson (screenplay by), Meg Wolitzer (based on the novel "The Wife" by)
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Popularity
275 ( 106)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Christian Slater ... Nathaniel Bone
Elizabeth McGovern ... Elaine Mozell
Max Irons ... David Castleman
Glenn Close ... Joan Castleman
Harry Lloyd ... Young Joe Castleman
Jonathan Pryce ... Joe Castleman
Morgane Polanski ... Lorraine
Annie Starke ... Young Joan Castleman
Alix Wilton Regan ... Susannah Castleman
Karin Franz Körlof ... Linnea
Nick Fletcher ... King Gustav
Michael Benz ... White
Twinnie Lee Moore ... Monica
Carolin Stoltz ... Hotel Nurse
Grainne Keenan ... Carol Castleman
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Storyline

Behind any great man, there's always a greater woman - and you're about to meet her. Joan Castleman (Glenn Close): a highly intelligent and still-striking beauty - the perfect devoted wife. Forty years spent sacrificing her own talent, dreams and ambitions to fan the flames of her charismatic husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) and his skyrocketing literary career. Ignoring his infidelities and excuses because of his "art" with grace and humour. Their fateful pact has built a marriage upon uneven compromises. And Joan's reached her breaking point. On the eve of Joe's Nobel Prize for Literature, the crown jewel in a spectacular body of work, Joan's coup de grace is to confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and secret of his career. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind any great man, there's always a greater woman See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Sweden | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wife See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$108,284, 19 August 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,232,603, 14 October 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Slater and Glenn Close were seen filming at Glasgow Kelvin College Springburn Campus. See more »

Quotes

Joan Castleman: I am a kingmaker.
See more »


Soundtracks

Let's Fly Away
Performed by Joel Evans Big Band featuring Patrick Tuzzolino
Written by Joe Lervold (as Joel Evans) & Julius Robinson
Published by One Hundred Percent Publishing (BMI) & Project R Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Noma Music & Capp Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An orginal tale of mid-life self-discovery
19 June 2018 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

The Wife (2017) could be described as just another midlife self-discovery film, although with more originality and powerful acting than many. It can also be seen as a feminist essay about being true to oneself, a story of fabricated prestige in the literary world, and a tale of arrogant deceit that holds a marriage together. It's bigger triumph, however, lies in the way it blends all of these into a tense black comedic drama based on the extraordinary acting power of the duo Glen Close and Jonathan Price.

The core plot is simple: a long-term marriage full of simmering tensions is brought to the boil when the husband wins the Nobel Prize for literature while 'the wife' looks on in smiling silence. Professor Joe Castleman has become accustomed to being feted for his literary greatness and has even been described as a reinventor of the novel form. The opening scenes are emotionally supercharged: a phone call from Norway in the middle of the night, joyful close-ups on Joe and Joan hearing the news, each processing it in completely different terms. Joe's arrogance is elevated by the news, while Joan's tolerance for his deceit, philandering, and belittling her as 'the wife who does not write' inches closer to breaking point.

The news of his Prize triggers interest from a persistent freelance biographer who begins asking questions about Joan's own early writing career and the authorship of her husband's work. Marital tensions and professional conceits intersect and escalate as they approach the Nobel Prize ceremony, with their secret dangerously close to becoming public. Framed as a domestic relationships drama, the narrative moves slowly in a dialogue-rich film that records the personal journey of two intelligent and articulate people travelling in different directions.

So much can be conveyed through a husband's use of the phrase "The Wife". It might be used as a derisive avatar or a cartoon nagger but not a respected equal. It is at this level that The Wifeexerts its power to show how patriarchy can entrap a willing victim until its innate fragility is exposed. Yet a simple exit from the marriage is not easy, as Joe and Joan really love each other. Too many dramas immerse such themes in clichés and hyperbole, but a tour de forceperformance by Glen Close takes this one to different level.

Excellent filming, a clever script, uncluttered editing, and a nomination-worthy performance by Close gives this film a clear voice for the demographic it addresses. The feminist discourse for older women speaks in a different filmic language than what is current for others, so this is not a film for all. But its laser-precise message is targeted at everyone.


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