BIOPIC IRIS (15) 90 min 00..

When even the weekly supermarket shop gives rise to philosophical debate (‘Whole grain mustard. What is whole?’), you know you’re in the company of no ordinary couple. The love story of two of this century’s most significant writer-academics, Iris Murdoch and John Bayley, is lovingly created from Bayley’s recent memoirs by Richard Eyre.

lt ultimately plots Murdoch’s descent into the agonising fog of Altzeimer’s, but is inter-cut with scenes of the early, tentative love between these two Oxford starlets. The young Iris (Kate Winslet) takes virginal John (Hugh Bonneville) firmly by the hand into bed. Such a dynamic is the basis for the next 43 years of their life together.

The rigour of Murdoch’s intellect and her love of words underpin the tragedy of her illness. When words cannot help and only confuse, fear reigns. The film is a testament to Murdoch’s passion for language,

frailty, are similarly explored, and Judi Dench as ageing Iris conveys every flicker of emotion in her pale, sad eyes.

Although the later years (with Jim Broadbent playing Bayley) are more

Testament to Murdoch’s intellect

viewer make connections and fill in the gaps. What carries through the absent time is love. Even in the latter stages of dementia, Iris manages to find those three small words one last time. Take tissues,

and conviction in its capacity to expand our understanding of the world. Humanity, its strength and


Don't SayA Word is a frequently ludicrous. routrne Hollywood thriller in which Michael Douglas plays a p8ychiatrrst who has less than 24 hours to retrieve a srx~ figure number from a seemingly-catatonic patient rBrrttany Murphy) or a bunch of ruthless kidnappers ‘led by Sean Bean. scowlrng for England) will murder hrs daughter. To make matters worse. his wrfe lFamke Jansseni has a severe case of Rear Wrndow leg. and is confined to her bed. leaving her a sitting target for the kidnappers. who have. rather Cunningly. set up base in the same building. The main problem with Gary Things To Do In Denver When You 're Dead Fleder's film (apart from the fact that you'll spend its running time wondering whether ageing Douglas has had some weird cosmetic thing done to his eyest is that it bungles its climax. There are no shocks where there should be shocks. no twrsts where there should be twrsts. When it's over there's a profound sense of: ‘Was that it?‘ The script is clumsy. too. allowing for Oliver Platt's fellow psychiatrist to be suddenly dropped at a crUCral pOrnt. The supporting performances by the female cast (including Jennifer Esposito playing a (iOIOCTIVUi are all excellent. and much better than the film deserves. (Matthew Turner) I General release from Fri 22 Feb.

Frequently ludicrous Hollywood thriller

24 THE LIST 78 i ell Jib-CL?

involving than the early ones, the two narratives switch with deft slickness, demanding that the

you might need a few. (Ruth Hedges)

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THE FLUFFER (18) 93 mins 0.

Leaves you feeling unsatiated

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(cert tbc) 105 mins 0..

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