The Wife review - a captivating story of regret, love and change
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Verdict: Powerful, tense, agonising and totally worth a watch. Directed by the Swedish director Björn Runge and adapted from the novel The Wife, written by Meg Wolitzer, this drama is about regret, love (especially the lack of it) and change. It stars Glenn Close as Joan, the selfless wife of acclaimed writer Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), and many critics have described Close's performance as the best in her career. Joan Castleman is a woman who devoted her whole life to her husband’s desire to be published as a writer, compromising her own talent and passion for writing. A call to Joe Castleman confirming his winning of the Nobel prize of Literature is the beginning of a war between this couple, united by their passion for writing and separated by everything else. The recognition for Close is totally deserved. Joan is a very intense, complex character, full of regret, and Close plays her effortlessly. From the day of the call until the much awaited award night in Stockholm, the audience can see how repressed Joan is - behind her half smile is the potential to grow wings and take off, but she can’t. She always feels forced to agree to her husband’s demands, to be a decorative piece in ceremonies, to listen to her husband being complimented by the most well-regarded and talented people in the industry. Increasingly suffocated and exhausted of faking smiles next to her husband, the audience learns Joan's secret - she has spent her whole life writing the novel her husband is being awarded for, and all the others, while Joe only edited them.
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