The Third Wife (Vo ba)

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Movie Info & Cast


In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14-year-old May becomes the third wife of wealthy landowner Hung. Soon she learns that she can only gain status by asserting herself as a woman who can give birth to a male child. May's hope to change her status turns into a real and tantalizing possibility when she gets pregnant. Faced with forbidden love and its devastating consequences, May finally comes to an understanding of the brutal truth: the options available to her are few and far between.


  • Hong Chuong Nguyen
  • Long Le Vu
  • Nu Yên-Khê Tran
  • Mai Thu Huong Maya
  • Nguyen Phuong Tra My
  • Nhu Quynh Nguyen
  • Nguyen Thanh Tam
  • Lam Thanh My
  • Mai Cát Vi
  • Khanh An Tang

Did You Know?


  • The film premiered at TIFF in Canada in September 2018.
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Movie details provided by

Atom User Reviews

4.5 out of 5


May 13, 2019

If this focus on fleeting pleasures occasionally risks exoticizing the subject, Mayfair’s sensory approach to illustrating an almost unbearable absence of female fulfillment achieves a powerful universal resonance.

John Berra
Screen Daily
May 13, 2019

Mayfair's picture feels like the work of a seasoned veteran rather than a newcomer, but this isn't necessarily a compliment. It's sensitively poetic and tremulously delicate to a fault, with every beat seemingly accompanied and underlined by an intrusive score from Ton That An which is heavily freighted with plangent strings and mournful piano notes.

Metacritic review by Neil Young
Neil Young
The Hollywood Reporter
May 13, 2019

Mayfair’s The Third Wife is a powerful reminder that the oppression of women is not strictly a Western problem and everyone—women or men—want to be free to choose their own path in life.

Metacritic review by Alan Ng
Alan Ng
Film Threat