A Beautiful Mind at the end of the road
W. Jamison | Eagle River, Ak United States | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a beautiful movie though not especially enlightening regarding Murdoch's philosophy at all. Rather it is a romp through her life with John from their meeting and through flashbacks and returns a comparison of their lives together then and the present of the film. It would be a little too risqué to play for students in class though I suppose everything was meant to portray the character of Iris as John recalls her. What the movie does do is encourages reading since one is curious about what the movie leaves out - what she wrote. There are a few choice interviews that Dench does wonderfully. Of interest is the happy YouTube offerings of several interviews with Iris Murdoch so one can compare. But I suppose the main concern of the movie is to present the unfortunate future for many who live the life of the mind and the eventual loss of it. The surprise is that those who are so intellectually active (as well as active in other ways) might still suffer the consequences of a deterioration of the brain and loss of what most makes life worth living for them. Sad."
The flashback is back
Rev. E. A. Hernandez | 01/04/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, too many people ignore the absolutely brilliant Hugh Bonneville as a young Jim Broadbent. There was an Oscar-worthy turn if ever I saw one.
Stupid being that I am, I had never heard of Iris Murdoch beyond an ocassional mention of her name. Thus the film fascinated me as a purely biographical work. Naturally, with DAME Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent, one can never go awry, and I truly loved nearly every minute of their work here.
However: I feel that too many "Alzheimer" films are being made these days--since one powerful film can go a long, long way--and I felt that "Iris" got carried away with itself in this part of the film. I asked, What is it? Is it about Alzheimer's Disease or about Iris Murdoch?
Somehow the film didn't work for me, in that direction, and I felt it dragged the thing down badly. There is a way of portraying Alzheimer's in film, I believe, that enhances the story and drives the point home--without the horrors being devoured like red meat. It is something I simply cannot stand. Jim Broadbent's (Bayley's) horrible mental breakdown from the strain of caring for his wife is a thing I wish never to see again in any film. And Dame Judi (Iris) urinating in her living room is also excessive and unnecessary.
I'd say not to miss this film, but then, as they say in England, I hope you have a strong stomach!"
Cleared up some mysteries
Curtis Rice | San Diego CA | 08/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having read several novels by Iris Murdoch, this movie was a revelation. From the early parts of her life to the tragic ending caused by Alzheimer's, this is a beautiful little film."