After nearly forty years of marriage, JOAN and JOE CASTLEMAN (Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce) are complements. Where Joe is casual, Joan is elegant. Where Joe is vain, Joan is self-effacing. And where Joe enjoys his very public role as Great American Novelist, Joan pours her considerable intellect, grace, charm, and diplomacy into the private role of Great Man’s Wife. Joe is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize for his acclaimed and prolific body of work. Joe’s literary star has blazed since he and Joan first met in the late 1950s. THE WIFE interweaves the story of the couple’s youthful passion and ambition with a portrait of a marriage thirty plus years later, with a lifetime’s shared compromises.
The movie starts off with the relationship of an elderly couple wherein the husband is the public star and the wife has a private life taking care of the family and him. The movie then gradually reveals the truth behind the husband’s literary genius and the wife’s simmering discontent and resentment.
There are many excellent scenes like the scene where Nathaniel is trying to get Joan to admit to the truth or the confrontation scene between David and Joe or the final confrontation scene between Joan and Joe.
Glenn Close is brilliant as Joan Castleman. There are scenes where she doesn’t even speak and yet you can make out what she is thinking. She absolutely deserves the Oscar nomination and will most probably win the Oscar for Best Actress. Annie Starke was very good as the young Joan. Jonathan Pryce was excellent as Professor Joseph Castleman. Harry Lloyd was good as young Joe. Max Irons was very good as their son David. Christian Slater was very good as the somewhat slimy biographer Nathaniel Bone. The rest of the cast was decent.
The movie is based on the novel The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. Screenplay by Jane Anderson is very good. The movie is slow paced but its engrossing. Direction by Björn Runge is very good. The movie is very good and recommended for those who love subtle drama.
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