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 & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Young John Bayley
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...
...
Principal
Angela Morant ...
Hostess
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Janet Stone
Siobhan Hayes ...
Check-Out Girl
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Young Janet Stone
Joan Bakewell ...
BBC Presenter
Nancy Carroll ...
BBC PA
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Dr. Gudgeon
Tom Mannion ...
Neurologist
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Postman
...
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

2002 Academy Awards host Whoopi Goldberg humorously referred during the ceremony that Iris (2001) "[was] a movie that even Ingmar Bergman found depressing". 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

John Bayley: [talking in front of Iris] Horrible thing, to stand with your toes at the edge of the precipice. You can say anything you like, as long as you make it sound like it was a joke.
Janet Stone: Now don't, John, it's cruel.
John Bayley: No, you're wrong, it's not cruel. It's nothing. I mean, it's not understood. She's in her own world now. Perhaps it's what she always wanted.
Janet Stone: [smiles dotingly at Iris]
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
Composed by Bennie Benjamin, Eddie Durham, Sol Marcus, Edward Seiler
Performed by The Ink Spots
By kind permission of MCA
Co-publisher Chappell & Co./Warner Chappell, Cherio Corporation, Bug Music Inc, c/o Eddie Durham Swing Music,
Carlin America
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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+)


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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