So often one leaves the theater or presses re-wind with a thoughttaking 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 Istill cannot. This film is a piece of perfection, tightly fitted butnot contrived; dramatic without overstatement; and deeply movingwithout sentimentality. <br><br>It also comprises a tour-de-force performance by Emma Thompson, anactor whose performances are almost always extraordinary -- so the factthat this one stands out says a lot. <br><br>The dialogue (and monologue) is amusing, minimalistic but never toolittle, and is always sufficient to the scene. There is plenty ofirony, wry humor, and understated insight; and yet the film, stark asit is, is abundantly human and, in places, even sweet. <br><br>At the height of the grinding sorrow that Thompson so skillfully bringsus into, a startling scene between her old academic mentor is a lovingact of redemption, shared by them both. <br><br>As an additional note, the surprising appearance of Christopher Lloydin this film, as the research oncologist, provides a perfect foil forVivian's role as a patient and as an academician. Lloyd's performanceis convincing, and yet it contains just enough of eccentricity andkindness to make his character's disinterested role entirelysympathetic.<br><br>A wonderful film. Not -- be warned -- an easy film to watch, butdecidedly worth it.
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.
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