The Listener

Iris

Richard Eyre (2001)

87min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Richard Eyre has made a film that succeeds on the strength of its performances alone in this biography of one of the 20th century's most talented female writers. Essentially Judi Dench is Iris Murdoch. Without her and the incredible support from Jim Broadbent as Murdoch's devoted husband John Bayley and Penelope Wilton as society hostess Janet Stone, this simply wouldn't have the required emotional impact. As it is, you're moved to many, many tears. Murdoch's sharp academic mind is established from the beginning but the story becomes really compelling once the parallel flashback encounters between the young Iris and John (played by Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville) run concurrently with the older writer's gradual deterioration from Alzheimer's disease. As a study of human frailty, love and loss, the film couldn't be more truthful or more powerful thanks mainly to Dench and Broadbent. So much so that sometimes it hurts to watch.

Summary

Toby witnesses a mysterious teenager revive a baby using a unique ability, but when he gets a chance to meet the girl he discovers her life may be in danger. Sci-fi drama, starring Craig Olejnik and Ennes Esmer.

Cast & Crew

Iris Murdoch Judi Dench
John Bayley Jim Broadbent
Young Iris Kate Winslet
Young John Hugh Bonneville
Janet Stone Penelope Wilton
Young Janet Stone Juliet Aubrey
Young Maurice Samuel West
Old Maurice Timothy West
College principal Eleanor Bron
TV presenter Joan Bakewell
Director Richard Eyre
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena VistaGuidance: Contains sex scenes and nudity.Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 18 Jan 2002
Drama