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:: Iris

Iris is the portrayal of the mind debilitating Alzheimer’s disease on a scholarly acknowledged person. The film is based on the true life of Dame Iris Murdock written from accounts of her biographer and that of her husband. This is a love story for the beauty of a younger Iris in her college years, and her meeting with her husband.

Largely sadness surrounds a gradual loss of memory and confusion with language for the philosopher and writer of twenty-six novels. The full effects of the disease coincide with the release of her final novel, a story that Iris can only hold. Iris is seen to place blank pieces of paper on the shoreline of a holiday retreat while husband encourages her to write. She is found to urinate on newspaper in their kitchen. An also confused Iris takes a walk into town and is returned later by an ex-lover, while husband Bailey worries after police alarm.

While this is the story of the love between John Bailey (Jim Broadbent) and Iris it is hard to understand her choice in love for him in her younger years. Bailey is an awkward character seemingly unfit for her confidence and sexuality. His own career as a literary critic is not developed. His intelligence may be overlooked, after a choking meeting and fumbled first kiss. The marriage is a meeting of minds and their life together as writers is accepted as eccentric. Nude bathing in public places and shopping trips of sausages in cans, seem norm when Iris is allowed to break into song in the middle of a speech at Oxford University. Such strangeness may be overlooked and audience understanding of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease may take time.

While signs of the disease are padded through the films comparison of the younger (Kate Winslet) and present day elder (Dame Judi Dench), the diagnosis may only be acknowledged when Iris as an adept speaker pauses during a TV interview with the BBC. Shortly after specialists test Dame Iris Murdoch, husband and best friend hold hands for the rest of the present day storyline, and strain of the disease. This awakening and diagnosis will be equally frightening for the audience who are now aware of her life's accomplishments.
Look out for a bouncer like taxi driver, a sex scene and the policeman.