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Wit (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 24 March 2001
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0:32 | Trailer

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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
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Clarkson was considered for the lead role before Emma Thompson was cast. See more »

Goofs

The size of Vivian's and Susie's popsicles. See more »

Quotes

Vivian Bearing: I trust this will have a soporific effect.
Susie Monahan: I don't know about that, but it sure does make you sleepy.
Vivian Bearing: [laughing]
Susie Monahan: What's so funny? What? What?
Vivian Bearing: [laughing] Soporific means "makes you sleepy".
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of 2001 (2001) 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 »

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User Reviews

Without a Flaw
6 December 2004 | by rdcongerSee all my reviews

So often one leaves the theater or presses re-wind with a thought taking the form of, "That was a really good film, but..." At the end of "Wit," I could not find a qualifier to complete that thought, and I still cannot. This film is a piece of perfection, tightly fitted but not contrived; dramatic without overstatement; and deeply moving without sentimentality.

It also comprises a tour-de-force performance by Emma Thompson, an actor whose performances are almost always extraordinary -- so the fact that this one stands out says a lot.

The dialogue (and monologue) is amusing, minimalistic but never too little, and is always sufficient to the scene. There is plenty of irony, wry humor, and understated insight; and yet the film, stark as it is, is abundantly human and, in places, even sweet.

At the height of the grinding sorrow that Thompson so skillfully brings us into, a startling scene between her old academic mentor is a loving act of redemption, shared by them both.

As an additional note, the surprising appearance of Christopher Lloyd in this film, as the research oncologist, provides a perfect foil for Vivian's role as a patient and as an academician. Lloyd's performance is convincing, and yet it contains just enough of eccentricity and kindness to make his character's disinterested role entirely sympathetic.

A wonderful film. Not -- be warned -- an easy film to watch, but decidedly worth it.


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