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Review: The Wife


Who deserves an award? They say there is no “I” in team, and The Wife (based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer) makes you wonder whether behind every award, how many other people can also take credit? There’s the motivation received from mentors and trainers for example. Also, what kind of sweat and tears do family endure on the journey?

Glenn Close plays Joan Castleman, the wife of Professor Joe Castleman (Jonathan Price) who with their aspiring writer son, David (Max Irons) travel to Stockholm, Sweden for Joe to accept a Nobel Prize For Literature.

Against a dreary, wintery backdrop Joan looks back on her life choices, which led Joan and her husband on this trip.

Joe comes across to most viewers as a somewhat narcissistic womaniser and you wonder how Joan ended up being his wife in the first place.

Through dramatic twists and turns we learn that Joan and Joe met at Smith College and we see flashbacks of a younger Joan, an aspiring writer herself, feeling like a writer in a “man’s world.”

Throughout the story you are left on the edge of your seat pondering whether Joan or David will end up selling Joe’s biography to pushy biographer, Nathaniel Bone (Christian Slater) and whether Joe will continue his extra marital affairs.

Whilst on the trip, their daughter back home has a baby and Joan and Joe become first time grandparents. Joan, Joe and David weave through their emotions and as more drama plays out, we are left at the end wondering, did the film actually make us question that behind every married man is there actually a strong wife who sacrifices it all to please her husband and help support him so he can shine?

Stars Glenn Close, Jonathan Price, Max Irons and Christian Slater.

Review by Bronwen Hartas