In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.
Tony Leung Ka Fai,
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
When Iris and John are traveling to the nursing home, they are seen crossing a bridge. This bridge is Magdalene Bridge and leads to East Oxford, yet The Vale House, where Iris Murdoch spent the final years if her life, was (and still is) in South Oxford. See more »
Young Iris Murdoch:
Yes, of course, there's something fishy about describing people's feelings. You try hard to be accurate, but as soon as you start to define such and such a feeling, language lets you down. It's really a machine for making falsehoods. When we really speak the truth, words are insufficient. Almost everything except things like "pass the gravy" is a lie of a sort. And that being the case, I shall shut up. Oh, and... pass the gravy.
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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 See more »
I wanted more about Iris Murdoch before she descends into Alzheimer's disease (stunningly portrayed by Judi Dench), other than a few lectures, and more explanation on why the young Iris fixed on her husband.
I haven't read the memoirs by the husband; it's possible that because the books and thence the movie are from his view point that we can't get inside Iris's head young, old, or befuddled.
The Young Iris segments mostly point up again that Kate Winslet has a beautiful naked body (was this before or after her baby?) and I didn't see how she did enough otherwise to justify the award nominations.
The Young Husband looks amazingly like the old Broadbent, so that the flashbacks are completely seamless, and both are terrific.
It's nice to see on screen a house as much of a mess as mine, filled with reading material, but I think we were supposed to react negatively at the sight and scream doesn't the British health services provide home health aides?
Altogether a very moving movie, helped by James Horner's music, especially sympathetic to what a caregiver goes through.
(originally written 3/3/2002)
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