One of the most heartfelt moments at the 2019 Golden Globes happened toward the end of the night: Glenn Close won Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for her work in The Wife. Based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer, the film follows Joe and Joan Castleman, a couple who travel to Stockholm, Sweden, so that Joe can accept a Nobel Prize. It is then that Joan begins to reflect on her life, and on the many ways in which she has sacrificed her own career and happiness for her husband.
In her acceptance speech, Close talked about the long road toward the film’s being made; it took 14 years for The Wife to finally be produced and come to light. She also spoke on her own mother’s struggle with balancing her marriage and her personal life, and why finding “personal fulfillment” outside of partners and children is so crucial.
The speech was met with multiple standing ovations; nearly every woman in the audience cheered when she emphasized that as women, “we have to follow our dreams. We have to say, I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.” Be prepared to wake up and find these quotes all over your Instagram tomorrow morning.
Thank you, thank you. Oh my gosh, I am just … [standing ovation] Thank you so much HFPA, this is such a great honor. And I am so honored to be with my category sisters and we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit so far and I can’t wait to spend more time with you. Everything that you did this year or you’re here for is … We all should be up here together, that’s all I can say. Oh my god, I just don’t believe it. I want to thank Meg Wolitzer for writing this incredible novel and Jane Anderson for adapting it; Rosalie Swedlin and Claudia Bluemhuber for the passion … It took 14 years to make this film and I was attached to it thanks to my wonderful Kevin Huvane and Franklin Latt, who were behind me and said, “Yes, this is a wonderful story and we need to stay with it until it happens.” You know, it was called The Wife; I think that’s why it took 14 years to get made! But anyway, I … You know, to play a character is so internal and I’m thinking of my mom, who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplished anything.” And it was so not right. And I feel what I’ve learned this whole experience is that women, you know, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands if we’re lucky enough and our partners, whoever. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, I can do that and I should be allowed to do that. You know, when I was little I felt … Muhammad Ali was destined to be a boxer, I felt destined to be an actress. I saw the early Disney films and Hayley Mills and said, “Oh, I can do that.” And here I am today. It will have been 45 years in September that I am a working actress and I cannot imagine a more wonderful life. Thank you, Björn Runge, who is here, who directed The Wife, who trusted the close-up and knew where to put the camera and how to light us; Jonathan Pryce, what a great partner; my daughter, Annie, who laid the foundation of this character, I love you my darling. Thank you so much.