Cox, a Dutch-born director working in Australia, took the pain of his own divorce and turned it into an honest cinematic account of the end of a marriage, exposing painfully raw nerve endings with care and compassion. Hargreaves is a disc jockey for a classical music station, working also
on his own musical compositions. Hughes, his wife, is sick of being ignored while her husband devotes himself to his work, and subsequently she begins a most indiscreet affair. Only Hargreaves is unaware of what is really happening, but eventually he learns the truth and separates from Hughes.
Hargreaves refuses to tell his parents, who disapproved of the marriage in the first place. Lovejoy, Hargreaves's Russian emigrant father, is dying, and though his own marriage was far from happy, he lectures his son on the importance of matrimony. Hargreaves gives an emotional performance, a man
who has no understanding of what is happening to his life. The cold indifference he displays toward Hughes early in the story is a sad but accurate portrait of a man for whom work means everything. Cox presents his story without redemption at the conclusion, leaving characters in pain and
confusion. Though a bleak view of life, this is a frank and compelling film. MY FIRST WIFE was submitted as an Australian entry to the Venice Film Festival, but surprisingly it was rejected by this prestigious gathering. The film garnered three Australian Film Awards--Best Actor for Hargreaves,
Best Director for Cox, and Best Original Screenplay for Cox and Ellis.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1984
- Rating: NR
- Review: Cox, a Dutch-born director working in Australia, took the pain of his own divorce and turned it into an honest cinematic account of the end of a marriage, exposing painfully raw nerve endings with care and compassion. Hargreaves is a disc jockey for a clas… (more)