Writers: Paul Cox, Bob Ellis
Starring: John Hargreaves, Wendy Hughes, Lucy Angwin
Duration: 96 mins
Directed by: Paul Cox
The film follows the dissolution of John and Helen's marriage and the aftermath.
Helen has decided to leave, and it is John who lacks the inner resources to cope with the impending tragedy. Slowly he is sucked into a tunnel of despair – fighting his conservative nature and the romantic memories of his married life.
The sentiment “We must love one another or die” ( W. H. Auden, 1939) is very much at the heart of the story.
My First Wife pleads for more patience, more understanding, more tolerance and more care for our “loved ones”, and if the time for parting arrives, to be more careful with the way we say goodbye.
My First Wife is an excruciatingly emotional film about the break-up of a marriage in contemporary Australia. Director and co-author Paul Cox based the story partly on events in his own life, and it shows. It's exceedingly well done and sharply observant.
The cast, led by John Hargreaves and Wendy Hughes, is flawless. Like so many films from Australia and Great Britain over the last twenty years, My First Wife has about it an undercurrent of pessimism that goes beyond its putative subject matter, as if the real subject were the Anglo-Saxon world in general, and its imminent demise, which, as is suggested in this film, richly deserved.
- IMDb Anonymous Review