Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson, Rosemary Harris, Tim Dutton, Nickolas Grace
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Screen favorites Willem Dafoe (SPIDER-MAN, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE) and Miranda Richardson (THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW) deliver star performances in this passionately rendered story based on writer T.S. Eliot's tempestuous rel... more »
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"I can make you happy my darling"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in Missouri on September 26, 1888. He lived in St. Louis during the first eighteen years of his life and attended Harvard University. In 1910, he left the United States for the Sorbonne, having earned both undergraduate and masters degrees. After a year in Paris, he returned to Harvard to pursue a doctorate in philosophy, but returned to Europe and settled in England in 1914. The following year, he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and began working in London, first as a teacher, and later for Lloyd's Bank. Variously diagnosed with "moral insanity," anorexia and hysteria, Vivienne Haigh-Wood suffered from severe menstrual symptoms most of her life, as well as an inherited tendency for manic depression. Having collided in their desperation to escape their mothers, she and Tom married in 1915, to their families' disapproval and to Tom's quickly encroaching disgust. By the time Vivienne was committed to an asylum in 1938, five years after T. S. Eliot deserted her, she was a lonely, occasionally demented figure. Shunned by literary London, she was the neurotic wife whom Eliot had left behind.Tom and Viv, a gorgeously produced, but terribly sad movie, begins after Tom and Vivienne have met and focuses on their troubled the marriage. The opening scenes show Vivienne fraught with headaches, sudden violent mood swings, irregular periods and showing her finding a type of solace and security in her relationship with Tom. Told from the point of view of both Tom and Vivienne, the movie is judiciously divided into four parts: 1915 - when Tom and Viv are courting, and when Vivienne shows signs of mental illness: 1919, straight after the war, when Tom is beginning to achieve notoriety as a poet; 1932, when Vivienne's illness is beginning to cause public embarrassment to her family, and 1944, after she has been finally committed to the Northumberland House sanitarium.At first, her family is extremely hesitant to allow the marriage between Tom and Vivienne to take place. Her brother Maurice - stylishly played by Tim Dutton - neglects to tell Tom about her "troubles," and Vivienne's father accuses Tom of being after the family money. Tom, at the time, is a struggling poet, living in an attic in the City with Bertrand Russell who is considered "the most hated man in all of London." Tom feels that poetry is a "mugs game" but he tries to appeal to the good judgment of Vivienne's mother - played with remarkable grace by Rosemary Harris - to let him into the family. Vivienne desperately wants to make Tom happy, and it is to Miranda Richardson's credit that the viewer really gets a sense of Vivienne's quiet desperation. Vivienne is also very supportive of Tom - she reads for him and assists in getting his poetry published; he relies on her completely - she's his "first audience."Willem Defoe brings a quiet and understated elegance to the role, and he expertly conveys Elliot's obvious love for Vivienne, while at the same time expressing a silent frustration over their relationship. As Vivienne steadily spins out of control, becoming more emotionally erratic, Tom realizes that he's married to a woman "that he loves, but everything that he does with her falls apart." Although he eventually contributed to Vivienne's institutionalization, she remains an honest person, who sticks by Tom, and his beliefs and she spiritually never really leaves him. With a fine sense of period detail, the film gracefully and elegantly portrays life during the Edwardian era - the stuffy but gorgeous drawing rooms, the hats, the frocks and the newly invented motorcars. Tom and Viv is a fine-looking period piece that is emotionally quite heart wrenching, and the movie contains some of the best performances from some of the finest actors in the business. Mike Leonard June 04."
kathryn42 | Oneonta | 07/16/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Careful: This DVD release of TOM AND VIV cuts my favorite scene contained in the original VHS edition--the one in which Viv dresses in disguise and goes to a public reading and book signing given by Tom, who graciously signs her book and pretends not to know her. If anyone else noticed this and has an explanation, please post!"
Tom & Viv - - EXCELLENT!
Natalie | Austin, TX USA | 01/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! I cannot get this movie out of my thoughts, it was an excellent portrayal of the turbulent marriage between T. S. Eliot and his lovely wife, Vivienne. First of all here is a 'bravo' to Miranda Richardson and Willem Dafoe, they obviously spent many hours perfecting the characters they portrayed so well. I understood what each were going through and it was a tragedy in the end that they could not live their lives together. It was obvious the love was there, but it was a sad, misunderstood love. Excellent job Mandy, you've proved your great acting capabilities to me once again, you never let your fans down do you? I highly recommend this movie to anyone, it was amazing and I cannot quit thinking about it."
kathryn42 | 10/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Tom and Viv" was an excellent examination of the human condition. The way in which the relationship between the title characters is both explicit and implicit is true genius. This movie will draw no lines for you. You are forced to come away with your own conclusions. I have heard people say that they had no investment in either character. I feel that was the point. The viewer is forced to disect the relaionship. It examines love in true deconstructionist style. If you are looking for a movie about the pain and confusion that is any relationship, this is for you I will finish by saying this: I was not the same after watching this movie."