As competently handled as Bjorn Runge’s The Wife is, the film ultimately succeeds off the back of Glenn Close’s central performance, with the actress delivering one of the finest of her career.
The film begins in 1993 where an early morning phone call awakes celebrated author Joseph Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) and his wife Joan (Close).
He has just been informed that he will be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, and as elated as Joan appears to be for him, fleeting moments of silence indicate a suffering she has carried for the duration of their relationship.
As the film inches towards Joseph’s award ceremony, Joan reminisces on their courtship during the 1950’s when she as an aspiring writer (Close’s own daughter Annie Starke portrays the younger Joan) and fell for Joseph (Harry Lloyd) when he was an English professor at university.
Their partnership was never one of equality, and the sexism in the industry she so desperately craved to succeed in and the underlying resentment that festers in their relationship makes for some supremely uncomfortable viewing at times.
The Wife maintains interest thanks to Close, whose character’s late-life crisis evokes a quiet rage that could ultimately prove more terrifying than the actress’s actions in Fatal Attraction.
The Wife is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below: