The Wife Movie Review

A fabulous movie set in an era where a women’s role is already decided for her. We see this with Joan Castleman who embodies the role of a dutiful wife and mother. She is always a step behind her ‘talented’ husband Joe, always in his shadow, always there to make sure life runs smoothly for him.

Joan should be awarded the Nobel Prize for being the ‘Ideal Wife’ or ‘Living in a Loveless Marriage’ or for ‘Total Sacrifice’. However, it’s Joe who has won the Nobel Prize for his literature.

We feel Joe’s excitement as he is told about the upcoming award, and ceremony. As Joe fumbles with his words, we watch the resentment and quietness of Joan who is in the background. Again. Her facial expressions tell a thousand words. This is the start of the visible cracks in their marriage. Cracks, so deep they cannot be fixed.

The family secrets unravel throughout the movie, which I was not prepared for.

  • Release: August 2018
  • Director: Bjorn Runge
  • Based on the book: The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer
  • Cast: Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce

I rate it a 5/5

A few thoughts

I have been thinking of the society my Grandmother and Joan lived in. The expectations to marry young, cease work, and raise a tribe of children, while looking after the household and of course, ‘the Man of the House’.

I wonder how my Grandmother would cope in my world, which I can only describe as having total freedom and the luxury of choice. Fortunately, I do not have the pressures of raising a tribe of children or marrying for the sake of it and living in a loveless marriage. I would much rather be single than have to endure a loveless marriage.

My Grandmother’s friendships, experiences, and choices are completely different to mine. I am confident we would not be able to swap lives, or would I want to.

If my Grandmother and Joan had unlimited opportunities, would they have chosen a different path? Would my Grandmother have married my Grandfather? No one will ever know.

Joan was able to find freedom in this restrictive society, however, it was always in secret, with no acknowledgment or recognition. Unfortunately, there were many sacrifices for the family unit.

Glenn Close provides a stellar performance as Joan. Watching her facial expressions throughout the movie was mesmerizing and her quiet demeanor intoxicating.