Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville
Director: Richard Eyre
Running Time: 90 mins
buy on DVD 4th November
For Dame Iris Murdock
(Dench) words were everything because without them how are we supposed to
think. For her husband John Bayley (Broadbent) words didn't flow as easily
from his mouth as they did onto the page, but the pair of them were inseparable.
A philosopher and a writer of twenty-six novels, Iris had always seen life
as something you had to embrace and from the time they first met, John had
had trouble accepting this. Her outrageous openness about life, love and
sexuality shocked young John (Bonneville) but the younger Iris (Winslet)
opened his eyes to the world. Now as they grow old together a new challenge
has arrived, Iris is starting to show the early signs of Alzheimer's.
This is a biopic
of the early and late life of one of the most noted female authors of the
20th century and I have to be honest I didn't know anything about her or
her work. After watching this movie I still don't know much.
This is its main
problem, you learn about her early life in Oxford and how her and John met
and then you see her losing the battle with Alzheimer's in later life but
you don't learn anything about her career. At the end of the film I still
didn't know what kind of books she wrote.
What you do get
from the movie is some absolutely superb acting from Dame Judi Dench and
Jim Broadbent, who are both very deserving of their Oscar nominations. Support
is also good from Hugh Bonneville and the lovely Kate Winslet (who is also
Oscar nominated for the role) as the younger version of the leads who appear
in flashback as the two remember their lives together.
you still feel let down by the plot of the film that while showing how harrowing
for not just the sufferer but also the people around them Alzheimer's can
be, it never lets you make a connection with Iris that makes her plight
any different from any other person with this terrible disease.
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