The Wife

Based on the novel of the same name written by American novelist Meg Wolitzer in 2003, The Wife is a brilliant drama portraying the complicated relationship between a renowned author and a simply dutiful wife and is a truly special film as a result of the tour de force acting performances, especially Glenn Close at the pinnacle of her illustrious career. The plot revolves around the fictional critically-acclaimed and self-absorbed American author Joe Castleman, played by the terrific Tony winner Jonathan Pryce, receiving the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature. Much of the film takes place during the lavish festivities associated with the Nobel in Stockholm in which Joe clearly enjoys the spotlight and seems dismissive of his underappreciated wife Joan Castleman, played by Glenn Close who has been nominated multiple times for the Academy Award. At the beginning of the movie, it is obvious there is something secretive underlying their supposedly loving long-time marriage, and the audience becomes more aware of their issues through a series of flashbacks to when they first met and fell in love in the 1950s when Joan was a gifted writer and student and Joe, played by the charming British actor Harry Lloyd, was a beloved professor at Smith College. Glenn Close in a Oscar-worthy performance depicts her character as a patiently submissive partner to a lauded writer who is finally about to reach a breaking point as her husband receives perhaps undeserved accolades that only feed his already immense ego. Through Christian Slater’s character who desperately wants to write Castleman’s biography, we learn more about the couple’s complicated relationship and past and the real possibility that Joan is more than just the writer’s wife. Overall, I found it to be one of the best dramatic films that explores the sometimes complex nature of marriage, especially one involving a famous spouse, and the truly outstanding acting performances are worth every penny of admission and will definitely garner Oscar buzz.

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