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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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 »

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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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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Timothy West who plays "Older Maurice" and Samuel West who plays "Young Maurice" are father and son. See more »

Goofs

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 of her life, was (and still is) in South Oxford. See more »

Quotes

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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Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Cerisier rose et pommier blanc
Music by Louiguy
Lyrics by Jacques Larue
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully told but incomplete
22 August 2002 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Iris" tells of British novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband as they struggle together with her Alzheimer's affliction. The couple is portrayed in youth by Winslet and Bonneville and in old age by Dench and Broadbent with all delivering sterling performances. The plaintive and wistful story is told through interleaving scenes of the older couple's struggle with moments from the younger couple's life. As far as it goes, the film is an excellent product. What it doesn't deliver, however, is a deep sense of Murdoch, her philosophies and complexities of thought thereby giving greater depth to the character and a sense of the significance of what she is losing. In short, the film dwells too much on the disease and too little on the woman. Recommended for more mature viewers (B+)


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