Compromise is key of any successful long-term relationship, marriage included. But what happens when one half of the relationship compromises to the point of giving themselves up to please the other half?
In the new movie, The Wife (based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer) Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) has been married to her husband Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) for decades. Joe’s career as a novelist is the stuff of legends. At the beginning of the story, Joe learns that he is to receive a Nobel Prize in literature. While they are in Sweden for the awards ceremony, the secret of their marriage and Joe’s successful career comes into the light.
The film seamlessly jumps between two different time periods: The early 90’s when Joe receives his award and the late 1950’s when Joe and Joan meet. Back then Joan (Annie Starke, Glenn Close’s IRL daughter) was an undergrad who wanted to write. Joe (Harry Lloyd) was Joan’s English professor. Can this marriage survive or will the unspoken dirty laundry of the past destroy it?
This movie is absolutely brilliant, for multiple reasons. Not just because of the supposed happy marriage between Joan and Joe then unravels, but also because of the truth about many women, especially when it comes to love and marriage. In order to keep their relationship/marriage going and their partner/spouse happy, many women will subvert their needs and desires.
I absolutely recommend it. In fact, I would not be surprised if the movie did well come awards season.
The Wife is presently in theaters.