The Wife (2017 film)

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The Wife
The Wife (2017 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Björn Runge
Produced by
  • Rosalie Swedlin
  • Meta Louise Foldager
  • Piers Tempest
  • Piodor Gustafsson
  • Claudia Bluemhube
Screenplay by Jane Anderson
Based on The Wife
by Meg Wolitzer
Music by Jocelyn Pook
Cinematography Ulf Brantås
Edited by Lena Runge
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date
  • 12 September 2017 (2017-09-12) (TIFF)
  • 17 August 2018 (2018-08-17) (United States)
  • 28 September 2018 (2018-09-28) (United Kingdom)
Running time
100 minutes
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[1]
Language English
Box office $5.6 million[2]

The Wife is a 2018 drama film directed by Björn Runge and written by Jane Anderson, based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer. It stars Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, and Christian Slater, and follows a wife who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her narcissistic husband, who is set to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Wife premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on 12 September 2017,[3] and was theatrically released in the United States on 17 August 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics. It received positive reviews from critics, with major praise drawn towards Close's performance which some considered to be the best of her career.


Joan Castleman questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her narcissistic husband Joe, who is set to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.



On 16 May 2014, it was reported that Glenn Close would star in an adaptation of the Meg Wolitzer novel The Wife. The film was directed by Björn Runge and written by Jane Anderson.[4] On 30 January 2015, Frances McDormand, Logan Lerman, Brit Marling, Jonathan Pryce, and Christian Slater were announced as having also been cast.[5] On 19 October 2016, Pryce and Slater's involvement was confirmed, and Elizabeth McGovern, Max Irons, and Close's daughter Annie Starke joined the cast, playing the roles originally set with McDormand, Lerman, and Marling, respectively; Harry Lloyd was also added.[6] Close approached Gary Oldman for the part of Joe Castleman but he was unavailable for the role. The Wife shot scenes in Glasgow,[7] Edinburgh, and Arbigland Estate in Dumfries.[8]


Box office[edit]

In its first weekend of limited release, The Wife grossed $111,137 from four theaters, for an average of $27,784, the best of the weekend.[9]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 86% based on 108 reviews, and an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "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."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film four out of five stars, calling Close's acting a "tour-de-force," and saying she "takes it to the next level with a powerfully implosive performance that doubles as an accumulation of details that define a marriage. She never telegraphs Joan’s feelings, letting them unravel slowly as we watch her attend parties as a buildup to the big night."[12]


  1. ^ Wigley, Samuel (13 September 2017). "British films at Toronto 2017". British Film Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "The Wife". The Numbers. Retrieved 19 September 2018. 
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (25 July 2017). "Toronto Film Festival 2017 Unveils Strong Slate". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (16 May 2014). "Glenn Close Heading to Sweden to Star in 'The Wife'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Barraclough, Leo (30 January 2015). "Berlin: Frances McDormand, Brit Marling, Christian Slater Join 'The Wife'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Ritman, Alex (19 October 2016). "Glenn Close's 'The Wife' Rounds Out Cast". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Barnes, Luke (21 November 2016). "Hollywood superstar Glenn Close spotted in Glasgow as she shoots scenes for movie 'The Wife'". Daily Record. Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Swarbrick, Susan (15 February 2017). "Coming attractions: the star-studded new films and TV shows shot in Scotland". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (19 August 2018). "'Crazy Rich Asians' Even Richer On Saturday With $10M+; Weekend Bling Now At $25M+ With $34M 5-Day Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "The Wife (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  11. ^ "The Wife Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  12. ^ Travers, Peter (14 August 2018). "'The Wife' Review: Glenn Close's Spouse Is Mad as Hell in High-Lit Relationship Drama". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 

External links[edit]