Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2 1/2

In this new drama based on the true story of novelist Iris Murdoch (Judi Dench), her husband John Bayley (Jim Broadbent), a literary critic, is compelled to care for her after shes diagnosed with Alzheimers. The film begins with the initial suspicions her husband holds about her condition, and then proceeds to chronicle Murdochs slow and painful journey toward death. However, interspersed throughout are flashbacks of the couples early years. Their 40-year relationship begins as friends, but soon blossoms into what becomes a lifelong relationship. They find in each other not only love, but also a willing partner with whom they can exercise their active minds. Both are intellectuals and spend their lives teaching, and we get snippets of some of Murdochs philosophy lectures. The film is a moving portrayal of the effects of a debilitating disease, not only on the individual who is stricken, but also on those closest to that person. Judi Dench delivers a superb performance, while Broadbents Bayley is one of the most lovable, yet heartbreaking characters seen in some time.

Iris Murdochs outlook on life is simple. It emphasizes two issues central to human existence love and freedom. And although not emphasized in the film, Iris felt freedom and love included sexual expression with both genders. And while Iris finds a human measure of love and freedom in her life with Bayley, the Christian viewer cannot help but see how these deep desires in her life could be wonderfully fulfilled in Christ. Only in Christ can true freedom occur; only in Christ can one truly love God and neighbor. With the clarity that these two issues are explored in the film, it could produce interest in discussing the topics from a Christian perspective. The film also includes several instances of explicit nudity during skinny-dipping scenes in the Thames River with the young Iris (Kate Winslet) and John (Hugh Bonneville). Foul language is limited to four f-words which, even without the extensive nudity, prevents our recommendation of IRIS.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Few (4) times - F-word
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times Mild (woman pushed, woman falls from car)
Sexual Intercourse: Once Graphic (couple on bed w/ brief nudity and motion)
Nudity: Several times (female breast in brief sex scene, female breast, rear, and male rear in several swimming scenes, full female frontal in swimming scene); Near Nudity Few times (woman sunbathes topless - back to camera)
Homosexual Conduct: Once (comment about someone sleeping with homosexuals)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (couple kissing sensually, comment about person being good in bed, discussion about previous sexual encounters)
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Woman stresses finding the good in life and following it; woman on quest for happiness, ultimately finding it in love
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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