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A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH..., April 14, 2002

Wit Format: DVD Color: Color Genre: Drama Year: 2001 Release Date: 2001-09-11 Star 1: EMMA THOMPSON Star 2: CHRISTOPHER LLOYD Wit available on January 16 2017 from Newegg for 6.97
This brilliant adaptation of Margaret Edison's Pulitzer Prize winning play is simply superb. Beautifully directed by Mike Nichols, it is peppered with superlative performances by its cast. It is almost hard to believe that this profoundly moving and poignant film was released for HBO, rather than as a major box office, big screen release.Tautly written, this remarkable film focuses on an intense and brilliant professor of English, forty-eight year old Vivian Bearing (Emma Thompson), whose academic focus has been metaphysical poetry. She has just been diagnosed by a noted oncologist, Dr. Kelikian (Christopher Lloyd), as having stage four ovarian cancer. She agrees to undergo an eight month long clinical trial to fight this illness, which at the juncture of its discovery is, invariably, terminal. This course of experimental treatment is Professor Bearing's only hope, as she realizes that there is no stage five.As she undergoes agonizing medical procedures which,...

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I just tried to write a review of this just re-watched film, from the Pulitzer Prize winning play, and I got all tangled up. So, I'm not going to go into "the story." Just watch this brilliant, moving film about the regimented, respected but feared English professor, whose world is taken from her, when she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Narrated throughout by her character, the brilliant Emma Thompson takes us through her progressive deterioration and loss of control amidst the sometimes indifference of the medical profession. Audra McDonald is wonderful also as the nurse, Susie, who, though a total professional, is not only the voice of compassion, but the keeper of Thompsons "Professor Barrie's" dignity, when she can no longer defend it for herself. She is a perfect contrast to the often all to real portrayal of the fresh-faced new doctor, played by Jonathan Woodward, who effectively conveys the preoccupation with stats, data, etc...in his eagerness to...
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This brilliant adaptation of Margaret Edison's Pulitzer Prize winning play is simply superb. Beautifully directed by Mike Nichols, it is peppered with superlative performances by its cast. It is almost hard to believe that this profoundly moving and poignant film was released for HBO, rather than as a major box office, big screen release.Tautly written, this remarkable film focuses on an intense and brilliant professor of English, forty-eight year old Vivian Bearing (Emma Thompson), whose academic focus has been metaphysical poetry. She has just been diagnosed by a noted oncologist, Dr. Kelikian (Christopher Lloyd), as having stage four ovarian cancer. She agrees to undergo an eight month long clinical trial to fight this illness, which at the juncture of its discovery is, invariably, terminal. This course of experimental treatment is Professor Bearing's only hope, as she realizes that there is no stage five.As she undergoes agonizing medical procedures which,...
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SPOILER ALERT ** -- I touch on the ending of this movie in my review.Two wonderful works are highlighted in "Wit" -- one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets ("Death be not proud") and "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown. "Wit"'s author, Margaret Edson, pulls these two seemingly distant texts into her script and uses them in the most amazing (witty?) way.Donne's metaphysical sonnets are notoriously difficult and are often approached as beautifully wrought puzzles -- puzzles that are so intellectually daunting the emotion that underlies them is sometimes missed. "The Runaway Bunny," on the other hand, is probably seen by many readers as a very simple tale full of feeling but not particularly challenging. Yet Edson shows us how deep and multilayered a children's tale can be while also demonstrating the basic human feeling underneath the most cerebral of poems. The simple becomes complex; the complex, simple.We get the most out of literature when we...
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