ONE I can thoroughly recommend this weekend is Björn Runge’s new film The Wife. It is based on the eponymous novel of American writer Meg Wolitzer and has been adapted by playwright and screenwriter Jane Anderson.

Glenn Close is masterful here as Joan Castleman, a woman who regrets sacrificing her literary career to support narcissist husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) as he travels to receive a Nobel Prize.

Flashbacks take us back to the fifties and the moment Joan met Joe as student and teacher. We witness how she was encouraged to give up writing and be a good wife.

Close may be best known for her infamous turn as Fatal Attraction’s bunny boiler, or even as Disney’s live-action Cruella De Vil, but this eclipses all. Her work in The Wife marks a career best turn, demonstrating powerful understatement and broiling emotional heft.

Allegedly, the film proved to be a difficult to cast. Indeed, according to Close, the production team struggled to find a male leading star who was willing to play a subordinate role. Had this been ‘The Husband’ the story would have been a different one.

In such a light, The Wife is not just a gripping drama but is politically significant too. Gender can be no bar to success in modern society.

In Night School, Kevin Hart plays Teddy Walker, a high-school drop-out who is forced to return to class when he accidentally blows up his workplace.

The film comes from Malcolm D Lee, director of 2017 hit comedy Girls Trip, and is based on a story by Hart. Tiffany Haddish, also of Girls Trip, reunites with Lee as night-school teacher Carrie.

UK audiences may find the central idea of Night School a touch confusing. Whilst evening classes are common on this side of the Atlantic, the General Educational Diploma exams that the film’s characters are studying for are not.

In America, GEDs are tests taken by those who do not complete high-school as a means of qualifying such individuals with the same degree of academic competency. It is these, Teddy and his classmates must take to secure future employment.

Sending grown-ups back to school is sturdy ground for a mainstream Hollywood comedy but Lee, Hart and Haddish are bankable talents when it comes to raising a smile. At the time of writing, however, this one remains an unknown critical quantity.

- Toby Symonds