True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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(books), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Young John Bayley
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Principal
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Hostess
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Janet Stone
Siobhan Hayes ...
Check-Out Girl
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Young Janet Stone
Joan Bakewell ...
BBC Presenter
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BBC PA
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Dr. Gudgeon
Tom Mannion ...
Neurologist
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Postman
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Young Maurice (as Sam West)
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Storyline

Iris, based on the life of revered British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch, is a story of unlikely yet enduring love. As a young academic, teaching philosophy at Oxford, Murdoch meets and eventually falls in love with fellow professor John Bayley, 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 Bayley's eyes. He recalls their first encounter over 40 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. Written by kem

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her greatest talent was for life


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,144 (USA) (14 December 2001)

Gross:

$1,292,119 (USA) (7 August 2015)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only the second film (after Titanic (1997)) to have two actors nominated for an Academy Award for playing the same role in the same movie. In both films Kate Winslet played the younger version in the dual-nominee role. See more »

Goofs

When John gets his coat caught against the chair at the pub, a boom mic can be seen in the mirror behind him. See more »

Quotes

Iris Murdoch: People have obsessions and fears and passions which they don't admit to. I think every character is interesting and has extremes. It's the novelist privilege to see how odd everyone is.
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Connections

Featured in A Look at Iris (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

How Much is that Doggie in the Window
Composed by Bob Merrill
(c) Golden Bell Songs / Intersong (USA) Inc
By kind permission of Warner / Chappell Music Ltd
Co-publisher John Maset Music & Media
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User Reviews

A brilliant film
28 March 2002 | by (Northampton) – See all my reviews

Judi Dench's performance as Dame Iris Murdoch was not only flawless, pitch-perfect, and deeply moving, but it was also the performance of a lifetime. The Academy was ridiculous in overlooking her lost gazes, her subtle inflections in voice, her trembling hands, her puzzled mouth. Kate Winslet lost herself inside the young Iris, developing an entirely new set of facial expressions and voice tones. The movie accurately captures the intense passion for life and love that John Bayley describes in his novel, "Elegy For Iris." Altogether, a brilliant film, concise, humurous, terribly sad--and enhanced by four brilliant performances.


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