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Iris (2001)

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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.

Director:

Richard Eyre

Writers:

John Bayley (books), Richard Eyre (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Young Iris Murdoch
Hugh Bonneville ... Young John Bayley
Judi Dench ... Iris Murdoch
Jim Broadbent ... John Bayley
Eleanor Bron ... Principal
Angela Morant ... Hostess
Penelope Wilton ... Janet Stone
Siobhan Hayes ... Check-Out Girl
Juliet Aubrey ... Young Janet Stone
Joan Bakewell Joan Bakewell ... BBC Presenter
Nancy Carroll ... BBC PA
Kris Marshall ... Dr. Gudgeon
Tom Mannion Tom Mannion ... Neurologist
Derek Hutchinson ... Postman
Samuel West ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,144, 16 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,292,119, 9 August 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

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

This film also marks the second time that Judi Dench, and another actress playing the same part, have both been nominated for an Oscar. Previously, Dench won Best Supporting Actress for playing Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998), the same year that Cate Blanchett was nominated for playing the part in Elizabeth (1998). See more »

Goofs

When Iris and John go to visit Maurice Charlton, a reflection of the camera lighting is seen on the inside of the front door. 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]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Magic of 'Finding Neverland' (2005) 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

 
Moving Experience, with Superb Dench
20 December 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Iris" is too short.

I wanted more about Iris Murdoch before she descends into Alzheimer's disease (stunningly portrayed by Judi Dench), other than a few lectures, and more explanation on why the young Iris fixed on her husband.

I haven't read the memoirs by the husband; it's possible that because the books and thence the movie are from his view point that we can't get inside Iris's head young, old, or befuddled.

The Young Iris segments mostly point up again that Kate Winslet has a beautiful naked body (was this before or after her baby?) and I didn't see how she did enough otherwise to justify the award nominations.

The Young Husband looks amazingly like the old Broadbent, so that the flashbacks are completely seamless, and both are terrific.

It's nice to see on screen a house as much of a mess as mine, filled with reading material, but I think we were supposed to react negatively at the sight and scream doesn't the British health services provide home health aides?

Altogether a very moving movie, helped by James Horner's music, especially sympathetic to what a caregiver goes through.

(originally written 3/3/2002)


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