If you don’t think that women get a rough ride in life, then you’re probably living with your head in the sand. That or you’re part of the problem. Whilst there have been huge strides forwards over the last few decades, the pace of change is nowhere near quick enough. However, unlike most of history we actually live in an era where there is some semblance of equality. In Björn Runge’s Latest film The Wife he focuses on a woman who sacrifices everything for the husband she loves to pursue the career she can never have.
When Joan (Annie Starke) embarks on a romance with her married college professor Joseph Castleman (Harry Lloyd) she knows he’s the one. Whilst working for a publishing company she realises that the male editors dismiss female authors. In order to save their failing marriage, she agrees to write his book for him. Fast forward thirty years and Joseph (Jonathan Pryce) is on his way to collect the Nobel Prize in Literature. He’s accompanied by his long-suffering wife (Glenn Close) and a son desperate for his praise (Max Irons).
Whilst it feels as though it would work better on the stage, The Wife is a compelling drama about family, narcissism, love and sacrifice. Runge’s film rests squarely on the ability of his actors. Both Pryce and Close are exceptional, with the latter giving one of her best performances. Adapted from a novel by Meg Wolitzer, The Wife is a fitting stage for its stars to shine. As a film, it’s limited, but it makes the most of what it has.
The Wife is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital by Lionsgate UK and Picturehouse Entertainment on 28 January.