As the old saying goes: behind every great man, there’s a great woman. But, judging by the just-released trailer for Glenn Close’s upcoming drama The Wife, the silenced writer at the center of the film won’t stick to her relegated role in the shadows much longer.
Adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Wife follows Joan, a former writer who accompanies her husband, Joe (Jonathan Pryce), to Stockholm as he collects the Nobel Prize for Literature. As the preview teases, however, it appears that Joe stifled Joan’s own creative ambitions throughout their decades-long union, with tensions reaching a breaking point during the couple’s journey to Europe.
“My wife doesn’t write, thank God. Otherwise I’d suffer permanent writers’ block,” Joe tells a group of colleagues while Joan stands by his side. When a journalist (Christian Slater) approaches Joan for an interview about her life, he brings up Joe’s “indiscretions” (which the clip later reveals to be at least one affair with a younger woman). “Don’t paint me as a victim,” Joan responds. “I’m much more interesting than that.” Further footage shows the dissolution of the pair’s marriage, with Joan ultimately proclaiming that she’s the “kingmaker” responsible for her husband’s success.
Directed by Swedish filmmaker Björn Runge, The Wife held its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where Close earned rave reviews for her leading performance. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the title out of the festival, though it likely pushed the film’s release date to 2018 to avoid pitting six-time Oscar nominee Close against stiff competition from last year’s crowded best actress race that saw the likes of Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, Margot Robbie, Sally Hawkins, and Saoirse Ronan competing for Academy gold.
The Wife opens in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 3 with a nationwide rollout to follow — right at the tip of the impending Academy Awards race. Watch the film’s first trailer above, and check out the new poster below.