Joan Castleman begins to question all of the choices in her life when her husband Joe Castleman is being awarded with the Nobel Prize for literature in Stockholm.
I eventually managed to catch this film on a cinema screen after a lot of hype surrounding Glenn Close and then it getting a very limited release here in the UK. Luckily my closest independent cinema has kept it on for a while now!
The Wife focuses on what a woman goes through when she sacrifices everything for the man she has married. This was something that makes it a tough watch, we get to feel everything from Joan and from the very start can sense that she is deeply unhappy with her life. They have two children together a daughter who is about to give them their first grandchild and a son David who accompanies them on the trip.
As the trip goes on we are shown different parts of their life together in flashback form, and in all honesty I did manage to guess the twist, I don’t particularly think it was difficult to work out but it was certainly done in a very emotional manner.
Nathaniel Bone wants to write Joe’s biography and has certainly been digging in the past and has managed to find out a lot of different things, but what is actually the truth? Joe does not want Nathaniel to write about him, but does he really have much of a choice?
Infidelity from Joe is hinted at right away, he cannot help himself even with his advancing age with younger women. Starting with his flirting on the plane! Then with the woman assigned as his personal photographer on the trip. David does not get along very well with his father and has a better relationship with his mother.
The nature of the film and it being about relationships really does make it hard going when you are watching it as it feels too real. Like you are actually watching someone’s life unfold before your eyes. I guess that is a huge compliment towards the performances though.
This film is really able to help showcase just how amazing Glenn Close is. Her acting performance of having to show emotions a lot of the times by not even speaking really was truly incredible, easily one of the best female performances I have seen in a very long time. You feel all different emotions towards the character and you cannot help but want her to be happy and succeed. I really can understand the Oscar buzz around this performance.
I have always been a fan of Jonathan Pryce and I thought he offered great support for Close to really bring out an amazing performance. I guess it is great to see a role reversal with that as we often see the male relying on the female to help bring out the better performance.
An emotionally charged film with plenty of things to think about and makes you wonder how much of your life you would really sacrifice for the person you love?