The Third Wife

The Third Wife

The Third Wife

A fourteen-year-old in 19th-century, rural Vietnam is forced to marry a wealthy landowner in this award-winning Vietnamese drama.

"Mayfair’s dreamlike feminist tale of repressed desire is filled with passion, beauty and melancholy. May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) is a teenager who, through an arranged marriage, becomes the third wife of prosperous rural landowner Hung. She quickly comes of age, learning what she can about sex, and also about the strict patriarchal hierarchy of her society: a world in which women are scarcely more than property and fulfilment of any kind is fleeting. May soon pins all her hopes on becoming the first of Hung’s wives to bear him a son." (Sydney Film Festival)

Winner of the NETPAC Award (Mayfair), 2018 Toronto International Film Festival
2019Rating: MA15+, Strong themes and sex scenes96 minsVietnamVietnamese with English subtitles
DramaWorld CinemaFestival & Independent

Streaming (2 Providers)

Reviews & comments

New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

A quietly gripping, thoughtfully sensual and culturally specific tale of womanhood in all its complications.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

This is a gorgeously shot, yet unflinching (although not prurient) look at a young woman attempting to survive and thrive in difficult and repressive conditions. It's a film that is more Pretty Baby than Memoirs of a Geisha – and all the better for it.

3.0
South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post

press

Nguyen is entrancing in the title role, carrying the full weight of the production on her slight shoulders, as she evolves from naive waif to erudite young mother before our eyes.

4.0
The Age

The Age

press

The Third Wife is more or less upfront about the element of sado-masochistic fantasy built into the scenario, oddly fused with the charm of a rural idyll.

3.0
Variety

Variety

press

Gently dipping us into the long ago and far away past, Ash Mayfair's directorial debut brings an intimate immediacy to the re-creation of rural Vietnam in the late 19th century.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The movie is... trapped in the same claustrophobia it depicts, unsure of how much it can or wants to get away with.

Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

The almost entirely female cast is captivating throughout.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

There is much that is finely wrought here as a tactile slice of women's history told in careful observances, hidden textures and the sights and sounds of nature unbound.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An audience-friendly affair which deals with harrowing subject-matter in restrained, tactful and aesthetically entrancing style...

New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

A quietly gripping, thoughtfully sensual and culturally specific tale of womanhood in all its complications.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

This is a gorgeously shot, yet unflinching (although not prurient) look at a young woman attempting to survive and thrive in difficult and repressive conditions. It's a film that is more Pretty Baby than Memoirs of a Geisha – and all the better for it.

3.0
South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post

press

Nguyen is entrancing in the title role, carrying the full weight of the production on her slight shoulders, as she evolves from naive waif to erudite young mother before our eyes.

4.0
The Age

The Age

press

The Third Wife is more or less upfront about the element of sado-masochistic fantasy built into the scenario, oddly fused with the charm of a rural idyll.

3.0
Variety

Variety

press

Gently dipping us into the long ago and far away past, Ash Mayfair's directorial debut brings an intimate immediacy to the re-creation of rural Vietnam in the late 19th century.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The movie is... trapped in the same claustrophobia it depicts, unsure of how much it can or wants to get away with.

Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

The almost entirely female cast is captivating throughout.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

There is much that is finely wrought here as a tactile slice of women's history told in careful observances, hidden textures and the sights and sounds of nature unbound.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An audience-friendly affair which deals with harrowing subject-matter in restrained, tactful and aesthetically entrancing style...

There aren't any user reviews for this movie yet.