As I sit in the WGA Library, surrounded by people reading scripts, tapping away on their computers, in a completely silent (for a change) area that is entirely focused on writers and writing, it seems fitting to write the review of The Wife that's been spinning around my head ever since I watched the "Explosive" performance by Glenn Close, an actress, and person I have admired for many years.
In case you're not aware of what The Wife is about, here's the official trailer.
It appears Sony Pictures Classics has taken over the international film elegance that once was the stronghold of the Weinstein Company and I'm excited to watch even more after the cinematic treat this film was on so many levels. My first thought watching this film was of so many women I've seen over the years who sublimate their own creative desires to "serve" their husbands, a role I never have desired, or seen myself doing.
(Which is probably why I'm single, but there have to be other kinds of marriages out there that don't require this, right?:)
However, I also have seen this with men who remain married to women they would rather than not be married to because they don't want to deal with the divorce aftermath and their marriages die a miserable death as a result of this passive killing of a life they once vowed in front of their friends, family, and God, to love, cherish and honor, or whatever their vows were.
I wish all those couples would watch this film and see the intense fury and result of burying their own desires and the cost it ultimately takes on the marriage, their lives, and their family's lives. I think it applies to any relationship or life choice where you don't anticipate all the other ramifications you'll experience by going with the flow, ignoring your own desires and figuring it's the best you can expect in life.
I met a young woman today who chose to place her 2nd child in an open adoption to preserve her own life and the life of her older child from an abusive relationship. That life choice has had unexpected ramifications on her eldest daughter that no one would have anticipated, but this birth mother is handling her decision and open adoption with grace, empathy, courage while seeking wisdom from others who have had a similar life choice, like me and many of the others she's interviewing in her quest for truth in her own adoption experience.
Then there's a man I met online who confessed he's secretly married to a woman he has claimed is merely his baby mama (my terms, not his.:) and his fear of divorcing her because he's tired of divorce, he has young children with this woman and it's a risk when you're a public figure on what will be accepted, private and more. Who knows if this person was even real, but the dialog we had seemed very honest and vulnerable. I pray for him and his marriage and hope he finds his way. I just can't be with married men and for my sake, wish he wasn't, but can't wish for his marriage to end either.
That's for God and him to decide.
But I digress. The Wife resonated with me on so many levels because as a writer, I've felt blocked for the last few years and haven't felt like expressing anything because my life was in such turmoil it wouldn't have come out cohesively or been believed.
However, writers must write as the film so eloquently explains and it was heartbreaking to see this character give up her dream of writing to be with a man who was so weak and self-indulgent and cowardly he couldn't acknowledge her, even when he had a major platform to do so. I loved watching the dynamic of the husband and wife grow and evolve as Glenn Close recognizes that her husband will not ever recognize her beyond what he'd done over the years. I don't want to ruin this film because I truly believe you must see it and experience it to feel the full visceral blow to the gut this film delivers.
The setting is stunningly majestic and unique which makes it even more awe-inspiring. The insidious biographer, played by Christian Slater, is cloying, manipulative, and like the snake in the Garden of Eden tempting and taunting Glenn's character to crack and admit something she has kept hidden for years. She refuses to take the bait, but then the son is enticed and beguiled in an ever-tightening web of unraveling that ultimately brings about the demise of the callow, arrogant, fool of a man who believes he is actually worthy of all the acclaim by virtue he has convinced himself of this for the entire 40 years of their marriage.
The fact that their marriage is based on an illicit affair and ruined one woman's life is only the start of what apparently became a pattern of a man who has such low self-worth he needs extra validation to prove himself worthy of all the outside critical acclaim for "his" work.
That he has the gall to act like he's a superior writer to his son is beyond belief, especially when the content of the son's prose is revealed. That the father doesn't see the obvious relationship that is staring him in the face in written form as his own husband/wife relationship is even more of an example of what a failed writer he truly is because most writers I know and enjoy reading are the most observant, critically thinking, interesting people I've ever met.
Most CEO's read voraciously and are well-versed on a variety of topics, although they do tend to have their favorite topics. It's probably why I resonate with leaders most. I like intelligent, funny, warm-hearted men who think for themselves and are willing to take a stand, no matter how unpopular.
This movie brought up so much for me because I feel the past few years I was relegated to the coat carrying wife role by virtue of the tech culture refusing to accept women on an even playing field and always relegating females in tech to beauty or fashion or sex type roles, rather than worthy leaders of building profitable businesses that will develop other businesses and leaders in the process.
This film awoke something in me that has lain dormant since leaving the tech industry, but like Glenn's character has slowly been awakening to the fact I'm worthy of a life I choose.
A desire for more. A desire to go after what I want again. A desire to be seen. To be heard and to receive credit where credit is due. It's why it's hard to listen to my Dad when I know he still believes the 1950's adage that I won't survive in this world unless I take some stupid job and just keep my head down and do what it takes to get by.
I'm sorry, but like Glenn's character, I'm over just getting by. I'm over just surviving. I need a change and as these new days of 2019 roll around I realize I'm feeling more and more clear on what I will and will not accept in my life, my living conditions, my career, and my family.
And it feels good.
The Wife may be seen by some as a cry for help, but I see it also as a warrior cry ready for a battle that won't be stifled, put down, condescended to, or repressed any longer. I highly recommend seeing this film if you're in need of a major kick in the butt to get your life together and take control of what's important.
Because if you don't walk away from Glenn Close's performance moved, changed and enlightened, I don't know what will do so. She's an amazing actress and completely deserved her Golden Globe which I am so glad was given to her because I would not have heard of the film otherwise. Unfortunately, it appears many others are unaware as well since the matinee film I attended only had 5 people in the auditorium.
That's why I'm encouraging you to take the time to go see this film and support Glenn Close because you will be so glad you've seen her brilliant performance come Oscar time. This is actually one Oscars I wish I could attend because there's so many amazing films being recognized and artist's performances I thoroughly enjoyed it would be a pleasure to see this up close and in person. I would love to be able to tell Glenn Close I championed her cause or tell Lady Gaga how moved I was by her performance and music. Or tell Bradley Cooper he was robbed.:)
However, it will probably not happen so for now, I will tell the world my thoughts as I am prone to do, in writing. And if you're still reading my writing after all these years away, thank you. I promise to write more. I have a lot more to say and feel like I'm just getting started again. So I leave you with this song by Pink as it exemplifies the spirit with which I write this and share my thoughts with you musically...
Or this version if you prefer:
Have a good one. Happy Saturday.