The European premiere of The Wife directed by Björn Runge and starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, will close the 65th edition of the San Sebastian Festival. The Official Selection will screen out of competition.
The Wife (2017), with a screenplay by Jane Anderson (Olive Kitteridge) is based on the novel of the same name by the North American author, Meg Wolitzer. It tells the tale of a woman who has sacrificed her life for 40 years to support her husband’s literary career, only to reach breaking point on the evening before he receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The film is helmed by Scandinavian filmmaker Björn Runge (Lysekil, Sweden, 1961), winner of the Blue Angel for Best European Film at the Berlinale for Om jag vänder mig om / Daybreak (2004) and a contender in San Sebastian’s Official Selection with Happy End (2011), which landed the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography.
In 2011, 6-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close (Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, 1947) came to San Sebastian to present her film Albert Nobbs (Rodrigo García, 2011) and collected the Donostia Award. The film went on to earn Close Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her role, adding to a long list of accolades received through her extensive career at the Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Awards, amongst many others. A theatre, film and television actor, Glenn Close made her feature film debut in George Roy Hill’s The World According to Garp, the part which garnered her the first of her six Oscar nominations. Her roles include truly essential films from the last four decades: The Big Chill (1983) by Lawrence Kasdan; The Natural (1984) by Barry Levinson; Fatal Attraction (1987) by Adrian Lyne; Dangerous Liaisons (1988) by Stephen Frears; Meeting Venus (1991), by István Szabó and closing film of the San Sebastian Festival and her first visit to the city; Cookie’s Fortune (1999) by Robert Altman; and the TV series The Shield (2005) and Damages (2007-2012).
Her co-star in the film is the British actor Jonathan Pryce (Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, 1947), thespian with the Royal Shakespeare Company whose filmography includes Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985), Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley, 1992), Evita (Alan Parker, 1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (Roger Spottiswoode, 1997), Regeneration (Gilles McKinnon, 1997), which he himself presented in the Zabaltegi section of the San Sebastian Film Festival, and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (Gore Verbinski, 2003, 2006 and 2007). Pryce recently embodied High Sparrow in the TV series Game of Thrones and in 2018 he will collaborate once again with Gilliam in the part of Don Quixote in the eagerly awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Alongside Close and Pryce in the cast of The Wife are Christian Slater (True Romance), Max Irons (Woman in Gold), Annie Starke (Albert Nobbs) and Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything).
BJÖRN RUNGE (SWEDEN – UK )
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Not in competition
Behind any great man, there’s always a greater woman … and you’re about to meet her. It is crucial you get to know this woman – many of us already do and don’t even realise it. Joan Castleman: a highly intelligent and still-striking beauty – the perfect devoted wife. Forty years spent sacrificing her own talent, dreams and ambitions to fan the flames of her charismatic husband Joe and his skyrocketing literary career. Ignoring his infidelities and excuses because of his ‘art’ with grace and humour. Their fateful pact has built a marriage upon uneven compromises. And Joan’s reached her breaking point. On the eve of Joe’s Nobel Prize for Literature, the crown jewel in a spectacular body of work, Joan’s coup de grace is to confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and secret of his career.