Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 40m
A highly intelligent drama that offers a peek behind the closed doors of a literary great and the woman behind him, unfurling a brilliantly complicated and nuanced relationship.
Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), a great American Novelist, is to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. His wife, Joan (Glenn Close), travels to Stockholm to support him, taking the intellect, charm and diplomacy required to fulfil the role of a Great Man’s Wife with her.
Interweaving flashbacks take us to the late 1950s where the pair first met, bringing a sense of youthful passion and ambition, which contrasts the compromises, secrets and betrayals of a near-forty-year marriage. By looking back to their university years, we learn that she too was a promising writer, despite being stifled by her successful husband’s massive shadow in later years. The film also touches on themes of sexism within the literary sphere— all the Nobel laureates are men— overall crafting together a highly nuanced spectacle.
Glenn Close deserves all the praise she gets for this stunningly executed performance. She makes it clear that she is not just a wife, but a great intellect in her own right. Don’t miss.