The Third Wife

Critics Consensus

The Third Wife uses one woman's experiences as the framework for a reserved period drama whose haunting beauty belies its devastating impact.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 46

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 52

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Movie Info

In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14-year-old May becomes the third wife of wealthy landowner Hung. Soon she learns that she can only gain status by asserting herself as a woman who can give birth to a male child. May's hope to change her status turns into a real and tantalizing possibility when she gets pregnant. Faced with forbidden love and its devastating consequences, May finally comes to an understanding of the brutal truth: the options available to her are few and far between.

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Critic Reviews for The Third Wife

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (5)

  • Perhaps most remarkable is the contrast between the intense interior drama and the lush, languorous world in which it rages.

    July 19, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • There's a fury underlying this film that goes unexpressed to the point of almost going unacknowledged, and it saps "The Third Wife" of a strength and momentum it could use.

    July 3, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The Third Wife is more or less upfront about the element of sado-masochistic fantasy built into the scenario, oddly fused with the charm of a rural idyll.

    July 2, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • What we have here is a small, delicate mini-masterpiece, and bright new talent behind the camera.

    May 30, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There is much that is finely wrought here as a tactile slice of women's history told in careful observances, hidden textures and the sights and sounds of nature unbound.

    May 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The movie is... trapped in the same claustrophobia it depicts, unsure of how much it can or wants to get away with.

    May 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Third Wife

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