The Wife

Critics Consensus

The Wife relies on the strength of Glenn Close's performance to drive home the power of its story -- and she proves thoroughly, grippingly up to the task.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 223

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,310

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Movie Info

Joan and Joe remain complements after nearly 40 years of marriage. Where Joe is casual, Joan is elegant. Where Joe is vain, Joan is self-effacing. And where Joe enjoys his very public role as the great American novelist, Joan pours her considerable intellect, grace, charm and diplomacy into the private role of a great man's wife. As Joe is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize for his acclaimed and prolific body of work, Joan starts to think about the shared compromises, secrets and betrayals.

Cast & Crew

Glenn Close
Joan Castleman
Jonathan Pryce
Joe Castleman
Christian Slater
Nathaniel Bone
Annie Starke
Young Joan Castleman
Harry Lloyd
Young Joe Castleman
Max Irons
David Castleman
Alix Wilton Regan
Susannah Castleman
Karin Franz Körlof
Linnea
Björn Runge
Director
Jane Anderson
Screenwriter
Gero Bauknecht
Executive Producer
Nina Bisgaard
Executive Producer
Florian Dargel
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for The Wife

Critic Reviews for The Wife

All Critics (223) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (191) | Rotten (32)

  • The Wife is an insight into long relationships, the way men and women heal and hurt each other. There are moments here that all husbands and wives will recognize. But the biggest reason to see this film is to experience the power of Glenn Close.

    February 15, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • At least The Wife has Close in its favour, not to mention timeliness.

    October 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • This is a small, neat story, slipping in the fatal compromises the Castlemans have made along the way as sharp period snapshots, and its backward glances at the boys' club of American fiction are alternately sad and funny.

    October 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Close plays Joan in a deliberately enigmatic fashion.

    October 1, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Runge keeps things admirably unfussy, giving his actors theatrical space to work their magic - all long takes and carefully composed frames.

    October 1, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • If ever a film belonged to an actor... this one belongs to Close. Mesmeric is an adjective often misused as a synonym for superlatives because it sounds cool. Here it is the right word.

    September 28, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wife

  • Feb 01, 2019
    The movie certainly has interesting criticisms of male ego, although I wish it had little more wit and venom. The reason to see this is for Close, a single look from her conveys a thousand emotions. It's a remarkable performance.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2019
    THE WIFE (3 Stars) If Glenn Close wins the Oscar for this, it will be well-deserved and not the Al Pacino/SCENT OF A WOMAN award for past legendary performances. She holds a master class in controlled, silent rage in a film which, unfortunately, would have been better realized as a stage play. The 11th hour on-the-nose dialogue feels like a misstep, but what comes before works so well in showing off a thoughtful, true, unexpected study of a life subjugated to a man who got to coast.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    "There's nothing more dangerous than a writer whose feelings have been hurt." The Wife is one of those movies you'll want to watch again as soon as you finish it the first time if not for how intense or fascinating it is, but for the delicately layered elements of perception versus reality that both Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce convey over the course of it. The Wife may look like your typical stuffy, Oscar drama fueled solely by the performances of its illustrious lead and while it most definitely is all of those things it also turns out to be much more than this; a searing portrait of intimacy and how as much between two people can be both the most familiar and painful thing in ones life. Bonus points for good turns from Christian Slater and Max Irons. Bonus bonus points for having Annie Starke, Close's real-life daughter, beautifully portray the younger version of Close's Joan. The way Starke compliments her mothers performance hammers home the personal betrayal at the heart of the film.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2018
    Despite two strong performances by Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, this is a frustrating drama that starts well enough but soon gives in to clichés and unnecessary melodrama before going as far as to remove the protagonist's agency with plot choices that are in fact quite revolting.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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