Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: Wit

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Wit” (2001):

Written by American playwright Margaret Edson, “Wit” is about facing death. Cruel, cruel death at his worst. An ovarian cancer kind of death. Facing it alone as we all must do. And facing it with humor, intellect and courage. If you think this is a morbid film, think again.

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D. (Emma Thompson) has sealed herself away from life by hiding in that ivory tower called academia. She is a John Donne scholar which means she knows John Donne forwards, backwards and sideways. She finds out she has cancer. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she faces her adversary with the kind of courage I doubt I would have.

There are so few performances we see on the screen that rise to greatness. Emma Thompson gives us one of those. Directed by the late Mike Nichols, Emma Thompson gives a tour de force performance.

I have to credit my friend, Kelly Fagan, for discovering this film. She played Vivian Bearing in a local production of the play. Unfortunately I missed her performance and I am sorry I did. Thank you, Kelly.


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