CS Lewis is the author of the Narnia books - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Known as Jack, he teaches at an Oxford College, during the 1930's. An American fan, Joy Gresham, arrives to meet him for tea in Oxford. It is the beginning of a love affair. Tragically Joy becomes terminally unwell and their lives become complicated. Written by
Matthew Stanfield <email@example.com>
In her real life, Joy actually had two sons: Douglas Gresham (who was depicted in this movie) and David Gresham (who was not.) David was born in 1944; Douglas in 1945. After their mother's death, David and Douglas continued to live with their stepfather, C. S. Lewis. In contrast to his mother, stepfather, and younger brother, David was less interested in converting to Christianity, and while still a child living with Lewis, he started to return to Judaism (the religion he had been born into). According to Edwin Brown's book In Pursuit of C. S. Lewis, Lewis was very supportive of David's interest in Judaism, including finding a kosher butcher to supply his meat. See more »
Both the picture of the Golden Valley hanging in Jack's study, and the actual vista Jack and Joy find on their honeymoon are in fact the view of the Wye Valley from Symonds Yat - as the woman in the hotel says, the Golden Valley is that of the River Dore. See more »
Have you got any cranberry sauce, Mrs. Young?
Cranberry sauce, what's that?
Well, it's a sauce made from... cranberries.
Well, you find me some cranberries, Mr. Lewis, and I'll sauce them.
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I probably watch this film every two years, yet like fine wine, it grows even better after time. This picture is a beautiful, thought provoking, and highly effective meditation on how love, death, god, joy, and pain all coexist in the strange universe that is life. With subject matter as complex as this, the viewer can see where one could easily become lost in C.S. Lewis's story, but "Shadowlands" never falters. The film remains quiet, simple, and highly effective through Attenborough's understated direction, and its cast's uniformly excellent performances.
However, what sits at the very core of "Shadowlands" beauty is its ultimate truth. There are moments in this film so full of genuine, unflynching emotion that its power practically hits the audience member in the gut. Yes, the film's magnificently depicted scenes of death and grieving never fail to jerk tears from my eyes, but Lewis's closing lines regarding the choices he made as a boy and a man make me sob.
"Shadowlands" is undoubtedly representative of filmaking at its very best. I recommend this film without reservation to anyone!
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