Sony Pictures Classics has released the trailer for “The Wife,” Björn Runge’s adaptation of the Meg Wolitzer novel of the same name. Glenn Close stars as the title character, with Jonathan Pryce playing her husband; he’s a revered author, while she’s relegated to simply being, well, the wife. “It was probably one of the trickiest roles I’ve ever confronted,” Close recently told Vanity Fair. “I think it’s a situation that every woman in the audience can relate to, whether they’re of younger generations or not.”
At the beginning of the trailer, Pryce is told he’s been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor both he and Joan have apparently been happily anticipating for some time. In addition to bringing the couple to Sweden, the occasion reminds Close of her early years as a writer whose own aspirations took a backseat to those of her husband. “Tell me about yourself. Do you have an occupation?” she’s asked. Her response: “I do. I am a kingmaker.”
The film also features flashbacks to the early years of the pair’s romance, including hints as to the fractures to come.
“[Joan] was part of my mother’s generation, and I certainly saw her be totally deferential to my dad,” added Close. “In her late 80s she’d say, ‘I feel like I accomplished nothing in my life.’ Looking back, it is so tragic because she was such an amazingly gifted woman. She just didn’t have the toolbox to strike out on her own… Joan’s diminished [in her marriage], and it has become such a habit that she doesn’t really notice anymore. She doesn’t have the vocabulary to give voice to her growing anger—to say, ‘what did you just say to me?’—so she lets it slide. It finally comes to a point where her cup is so full of anger that it overflows.”
Christian Slater, Elizabeth McGovern, Max Irons, Harry Lloyd, and Annie Starke co-star in the film, which premiered in Toronto last fall. SPC will release “The Wife” in theaters on August 3.