Watch The 19th Wife
- 1 hr 35 min
The 19th Wife is a drama film from 2010 that explores the controversial and complex world of polygamy. The story revolves around a young man named Jordan Scott (Matt Czuchry) who is expelled from a fundamentalist sect of the Mormon church called the Firsts after being accused of murdering his father. Jordan's mother, BeckyLyn (Chyler Leigh), who happens to be the 19th wife of the sect's leader, is convinced of her son's innocence and reaches out to a former sect member, also known as the 19th wife, for help.
The film is based on the 2008 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff and it tells two parallel and interconnected stories: one set in the present day and the other in the 19th century. The present-day story follows Jordan and his mother, BeckyLyn, as they try to unravel the mystery of Jordan's father's death and clear his name. The 19th-century story, on the other hand, revolves around the historical figure of Ann Eliza Young (Alexia Fast), who was the 19th wife of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon church.
The film's director, Rod Holcomb, skillfully blends these two stories, which are separated by more than one hundred years, and creates a compelling narrative full of twists and turns. As Jordan and BeckyLyn delve deeper into the Firsts' community, they discover shocking secrets about their past and present, including sexual abuse, forced marriages, and even murder.
Meanwhile, Ann Eliza's story unfolds through a series of flashbacks, which offer a glimpse into the harsh and oppressive reality of polygamous relationships in the 19th century. Through Ann Eliza's eyes, we see the devastating effects of religious and cultural brainwashing, as well as the resilience and strength of women who dared to challenge the patriarchal status quo.
One of the film's strengths is its cast, led by Chyler Leigh, who delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as BeckyLyn. Leigh portrays a mother's unwavering love for her son, as well as her doubts and fears about the life she has chosen. Matt Czuchry, best known for his role in The Good Wife, also shines as Jordan, a conflicted young man trying to come to terms with his identity and beliefs.
Alexia Fast, who portrays Ann Eliza, brings depth and authenticity to a challenging role. Fast masterfully captures the character's transformation from a naive and obedient young girl to a fiercely independent and outspoken woman who fights for her rights and the rights of other wives.
Overall, The 19th Wife is a thought-provoking and engaging film that tackles complex issues such as religion, gender, power, and freedom. It offers a glimpse into a little-known world that is still prevalent in some parts of the United States and sheds light on the difficulties of breaking free from a rigid and oppressive system. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in human rights, social justice, and the power of individual agency.
The 19th Wife is a 2010 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.