In 1915, T.S. (Tom) Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood elope, but her longstanding gynecological and emotional problems disrupt their planned honeymoon. Her father is angry because Tom's poetry ...
See full summary »
In 1915, T.S. (Tom) Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood elope, but her longstanding gynecological and emotional problems disrupt their planned honeymoon. Her father is angry because Tom's poetry doesn't bring in enough to live on, but her mother is happy Viv has found a tender and discreet husband.Written by
Michael Hasting' play of the same title, was seen in New York at the Public theater in 1986. Edward Herrmann and Kate Nelligan played the leading roles. In a way, Mr. Herrmann bore a resemblance to Tom, something that in the film, William Dafoe, an excellent actor, stands in sharp contrast with what the real Eliot looked like. Having seen both the play and the film before, we took another look recently when it was shown on cable.
Brian Gilbert, the director, showed a sensitivity to the material. He had the advantage of using locales where the real Tom and Viv lived in England, thus producing an immediacy and intimacy that serves the film well.
Tom, was a man that loved his adopted country. He was a man in awe of the culture and traditions. In fact, he adopted them as they were his own. His entry into that world in which he wanted to belong came to him courtesy of Vivienne Haigh-Wood, an upper class young woman who had her share of physical problems that plays greatly in this story. Viv's problems exacerbated her marital problems with Tom, and her family. Evidently, her condition could have been helped if the doctors that treated her would have gone in another direction, as it's pointed out toward the end of the film by a physician that clearly understood her malady.
The film is worth a look because of the excellent Miranda Richardson's portrayal of Viv, a woman she captures well for our benefit. This is one of the best appearances by Ms. Richardson on the screen. William Dafoe's Tom gives the impression of being a complicated man. Rosemary Harris is another joy in the film as Viv's mother Rose. Tim Dutton and Nickolas Grace have some good moments in the film.
"Tom and Viv" will not disappoint because Brian Gilbert's fine direction.
25 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this