8.0/10
8,420
115 user 19 critic

Wit (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 24 March 2001
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A renowned professor is forced to reassess her life when she is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Margaret Edson (play), Emma Thompson (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,612 ( 6)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A human-looking alien from a highly advanced but emotionless all-male society is sent to Earth to impregnate a woman and bring the child back to their planet. The alien ends up falling in love there. A suspicious F.A.A. Agent targets him.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Garry Shandling, Annette Bening, John Goodman
The Doctor (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a self-centered doctor is diagnosed with cancer, he becomes better able to empathize with his patients and appreciate a life outside his career.

Director: Randa Haines
Stars: William Hurt, Christine Lahti, Elizabeth Perkins
Gilda Live (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A filmed version of the Broadway show starring comedienne Gilda Radner, complete with the characters she made famous on the TV show "Saturday Night Live."

Directors: Mike Nichols, Lorne Michaels
Stars: Gilda Radner, Don Novello, Paul Shaffer
Something the Lord Made (TV Movie 2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Alan Rickman, Yasiin Bey, Kyra Sedgwick
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Playwright Tony Kushner adapts his political epic about the AIDS crisis during the mid-1980s and centers the story around a group of separate but connected individuals.

Stars: Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson
Walkout (TV Movie 2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on a true story, student activist and Mexican-American Paula Crisostomo (Vega), tired of being treated unequally, decides to take action and stage a walkout at five East Los Angeles ... See full summary »

Director: Edward James Olmos
Stars: Alexa PenaVega, Michael Peña, Yancey Arias
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates
Carrington (1995)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The platonic relationship between artist Dora Carrington and writer Lytton Strachey in the early 20th century.

Director: Christopher Hampton
Stars: Emma Thompson, Jonathan Pryce, Steven Waddington
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A marine biologist teaches his dolphins to communicate in English but shady characters plan to kidnap the trained mammals for a more sinister purpose.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino
Nightingale II (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A lonely war veteran psychologically unravels ahead of an old friend's impending visit.

Director: Elliott Lester
Stars: David Oyelowo, Barlow Jacobs, Heather Storm
The Fortune (1975)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them, not even murder.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Stockard Channing, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A daughter of the powerful Duke must show her courage and inventiveness to be with the man she loves.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Takuya Shimada, Brian Blessed, Richard Clifford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Thompson ... Vivian Bearing
Christopher Lloyd ... Dr. Harvey Kelekian
Eileen Atkins ... Evelyn 'E.M.' Ashford
Audra McDonald ... Susie Monahan
Jonathan M. Woodward ... Dr. Jason Posner
Harold Pinter ... Mr. Bearing (Vivian's Father)
Rebecca Laurie Rebecca Laurie ... Vivian aged 5
Su Lin Looi Su Lin Looi ... Nurse (as Su-Lin Looi)
Raffaello Degruttola ... Technician 1
Miquel Brown Miquel Brown ... Technician 2
Hari Dhillon ... Fellow 1 (as Harry Dillon)
Benedict Wong ... Fellow 2
Alex Gregor Alex Gregor ... Fellow 3
Lachele Carl Lachele Carl ... Fellow 4
David Menkin ... Student 1
Edit

Storyline

Based on the Margaret Edson play, Vivian Bearing is a literal, hardnosed English professor who has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. During the story, she reflects on her reactions to the cycle the cancer takes, the treatments, and significant events in her life. The people that watch over her are Jason Posner, who only finds faith in being a doctor; Susie Monahan, a nurse with a human side that is the only one in the hospital that cares for Vivian's condition; and Dr. Kelekian, the head doctor who just wants results no matter what they are. Written by Pat McCurry <laraspal00@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It appears to be a matter of life and death.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

W;t See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play "Wit" won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. See more »

Goofs

During her exam with the young internist, her arms alternate repeatedly from being completely under the sheet, to being folded together on top of the sheet. See more »

Quotes

Jason Posner: She's research!
Susie Monahan: She's DNR.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Saved! (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Unanswered Question
Written by Charles Ives
Performed by Orchestra of St. Lukes
Conducted by John Adams
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
Under License From Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Powerful And Touching Account Of Living And Dying With Cancer
24 March 2001 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

This is a wonderful, must-see film.

Emma Thompson puts on a superb performance as Vivian Bearing (a Professor of English Literature specializing in the poetry of John Donne,) who leads us through the last months of her life in narrative style.

Diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, Bearing agrees to experimental treatments involving powerful doses of chemotherapy. As we see her gradually losing her fight, Thompson convincingly portrays her emotional and physical torment and pain. Audra McDonald is well cast as the compassionate nurse (Susan) assigned as Bearing's primary care giver, who tries to ensure that, in the face of the doctors' temptation to continue to use Bearing as a guinea pig for their research, she will be treated with dignity and respect in her last days. John Woodward is quite believable as a young cancer researcher (Dr. Jason Posner) who really seems to see dealing with patients as an inconvenience that takes time away from what's really important to him, and his rather emotionless and awkward interplay with Bearing suits the character perfectly; a testimony to Woodward's talent.

This movie offers a powerful commentary on the cold and rather antiseptic environment of hospitals, in which patients are seen more as learning opportunities than people. The poetry of John Donne, interspersed throughout the movie as a source of strength for Bearing, is well used.

There's very little to criticize about this movie. Christopher Lloyd (cast in a rare serious role as Dr. Kelekian, the doctor in charge of Bearing's case) comes across as a bit flat, but the role is a relatively small one, and this doesn't detract much from the story. I also found the flashback scenes to be a bit distracting, but these have to be seen in context: this movie is based on an original stageplay written by Margaret Edson, and these scenes would look quite natural in that environment. I also thought the movie went on about five minutes too long. The last scene to me was unnecessary. I personally would have liked to have seen the movie end with the touching visit by Bearing's former Professor. We'd been put through the ringer enough, and didn't need the troubling last few minutes. These are just minor quibbles, though, about a truly great movie.

It's powerful, well acted, well put together. It could be disturbing to some people uncomfortable with illness and death, but it is an educational experience just to watch. I give it 9/10.


29 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 115 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed