New from A Reel of One’s Own by Andrea Thompson: The Third Wife movie review: Love and marriage are awkward bedfellows in 19th century Vietnam

By Andrea Thompson

The Third Wife may tell another story about a repressed, frustrated wife, but at least it’s told with more style and less hysteria than usual. True, writer-director Ash Mayfair is very aware that there’s not much positivity to be found in 14-year-old May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) becoming the third wife of an older, wealthy landowner. She’d just rather tell a story of how women tended to cope with their status in rural 19th century Vietnam in all its beauty and cruelty. Sometimes that means other things that should be a priority, like plot and motivation, are somewhat left behind.

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