• Mike Nichols (2001)
  • US
  • 98 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

In seeking suitably cinematic solutions to the considerable problems posed by Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Graduate director Mike Nichols here places the greatest emphasis on the text, with its wealth of allusions, rhythms and insights. Moreover, he refuses to be intimidated by its unashamedly intellectual discussion of the religious poetry of John Donne and the emotions experienced by literary scholar Emma Thompson, as she takes a leap of faith in battling ovarian cancer. The various flashbacks and monologues may not disguise all the narrative expedients, but such is the intensity and honesty of Thompson's performance that the occasional contrivance can be forgiven.

Plot Summary

Award-winning drama starring Emma Thompson and Christopher Lloyd. Vivian Bearing is a tenacious professor of English literature whose cloistered academic world is shattered when she's diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Used to exploring the mysteries of poetry, her rigid intellectualism is put to the test by the petty humiliations and degrading procedures of the medical professionals who can treat but not cure her.

Cast and crew


Vivian Bearing
Emma Thompson
Dr Harvey Kelekian
Christopher Lloyd
EM Ashford
Eileen Atkins
Susie Monahan
Audra McDonald
Dr Jason Posner
Jonathan M Woodward
Mr Bearing
Harold Pinter
Vivian as a child
Rebecca Laurie


Mike Nichols

Other Information