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Richard Eyre | 2001 | 91 MINS

This movie, based on the life of the revered British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch (Judi Dench), is a story of unlikely yet enduring love.

In Detail

As a young academic, teaching philosophy at Oxford, Murdoch (Kate Winslet) meets and eventually falls in love with fellow professor John Bayley (Hugh Bonneville), a man whose awkwardness seems in stark opposition to the spirited self-confidence of his future wife.

The story unfolds as snippets of time, seen through the eyes of the older Bayley (Jim Broadbent). He recalls their first encounter over forty years ago, activities they enjoyed doing together, and Iris' charismatic and individualistic personality.

These images portray Murdoch as a vibrant young woman with great intellect and are contrasted with the novelist's later life, after the effects of Alzheimer's disease have ravaged her. Murdoch's great mind deteriorates until she is reduced to a mere vestige of her former self, unable to perform simple tasks and completely reliant on her at times frustrated yet devoted husband.

Hugh Bonneville writes: “Written by Charles Wood and director Richard Eyre, this deeply affecting story charts the journey of Iris Murdoch into the fog of dementia as her husband John Bayley tries to come to terms with her decline. It was a privilege working opposite Kate Winslet - utterly natural and spontaneous in the role of young Iris, she taught me a lot about screen acting.”

CANCELLED - Please note that due to a rights issue, this film had to be withdrawn from the Festival.

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