7.2/10
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218 user 179 critic

The Wife (2017)

R | | Drama | 28 September 2018 (UK)
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2:26 | Trailer
A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm to see her husband 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
3,212 ( 148)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Joan Castleman
Jonathan Pryce ... Joe Castleman
Max Irons ... David Castleman
Christian Slater ... Nathanial Bone
Harry Lloyd ... Young Joe
Annie Starke ... Young Joan
Elizabeth McGovern ... Elaine Mozell
Johan Widerberg ... Walter Bark
Karin Franz Körlof ... Linnea
Richard Cordery ... Hal Bowman
Jan Mybrand ... Arvid Engdahl
Anna Azcárate ... Mrs. Lindelöf (as Anna Azcarate)
Peter Forbes Peter Forbes ... James Finch
Fredric Gildea Fredric Gildea ... Mr. Lagerfelt (as Fredrik Gildea)
Jane Garda ... Constance Finch
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Secrets lie between the lines. 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 | Swedish

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

Gross USA:

$9,601,092

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,205,312
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

The Wife premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on 12 September 2017. See more »

Goofs

A shot from the bathroom in Grand Hotel in Stockholm shows an outlet of a type that is not used in Sweden. See more »

Quotes

Elaine Mozell: The public can't stomach bold prose from a woman.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

(Do I Figure) In Your Life
Words and Music by Peter Blumson
Performed by Joe Cocker
Published by Robbins Music Corp Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The missus comes to grips
30 August 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. THE STEPFORD WIVES was stocked with some men's ideal of the perfect spouse ... attractive, dutiful, always ready to serve. In director Bjorn Runge's adaptation of the novel by Meg Wolitzer (screenplay by Jane Anderson), Joan Castleman is all of that and more as she constantly caters to her literary giant of a husband, writer Joe Castleman. It's 1992 in coastal Connecticut, and in only a few days, things will change dramatically for Mr. and Mrs. Castleman.

When we first meet this long married couple, they are in bed - she's sleeping soundly, while he's full of anxiety and anticipation over a phone call that may or may not happen. See, Joe is up for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and when the early morning call from Stockholm does come, Joe eagerly prompts Joan to listen in on the extension (it's 1992, so these are land lines). As the authoritative voice on the other end announces Joe's prize, it's the look on Joan's face that tells us that, for her, this is no celebratory moment. The facial expression is quite powerful, and it's our first inclination that 6 time Oscar nominee Glenn Close (as Joan Castleman) is delivering a performance as memorable as her work in DANGEROUS LIASONS and FATAL ATTRACTION (only this time there's no bunny).

Jonathan Pryce is spot on as the narcissistic Joe Castleman. He's clearly addicted to the pedestal upon which he sits and the corresponding adoration from worshipping fans. He's the type of guy who thinks he's doing Joan a favor by mentioning her in his speeches and calling her over to be part of his oh-so-important conversations. But as good as Mr. Pryce is, this is a tour de force from Ms. Close. She's always a step ahead of her husband - finding his glasses, ensuring he takes his pills, and monitoring his diet and sleep. It's the Nobel Prize phone call that stirred some long-suppressed feelings; lighting a fuse that will leave us anxiously awaiting the fireworks.

Max Irons (Jeremy's son) plays an aspiring writer and son to Joe and Joan. David's bitterness towards his father is evident throughout and his desperate attempts to gain his father's respect are nothing short of heart-breaking. Christian Slater plays Nathaniel Bone, a would-be biographer of Joe Castleman ... if only Joe would give him the time of day. Nathaniel is often quite intrusive in his pursuit of the truth - at least what he hopes it would be since it would make a fantastic book. Karin Franz Korlof plays Linnea, a young photographer assigned to Joe during the Sweden trip. It's an odd role as none of the other winners have their own photographer ... but not as odd as the small talk amongst the various category Nobel winners. Those scenes, and the verbal exchanges, are as awkward as one might imagine.

Director Runge utilizes flashbacks to 1958 Smith College to provide us a foundation and narrative for the relationship between Joe and Joan. She was once a budding star writer under the tutelage of the young, married professor. Her flirting, babysitting and writing all worked to win Joe over, and they were soon married. Young Joe the professor is played by Harry Lloyd (great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens), and young Joan is played beautifully by Annie Stark (Glenn Close's real life daughter). These early days and an encounter with a broken female writer (played terrifically by Elizabeth McGovern) lead Joan to surrender her writing dreams and put her support behind her husband. Shooting down the purity of "a writer must write", McGovern's beaten down character instead says "a writer has to be read".

Glenn Close will likely receive much Oscar chatter for her role. Her transformation from dutiful sidekick to self-enlightenment is a performance laden with subtle and nuanced signs of resentment. Her early disquiet could be compared to a volcano - the inside building towards eruption while the outside remains strong and majestic. Living a lie never becomes truth ... even after 30 plus years.


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