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Based on a pair of memoirs by her husband John Bayley, this biographical portrait of writer Iris Murdoch stars both Judi Dench and Kate Winslet as the philosophical author at different stages of her life. When the young Iris (Winslet) meets fellow student Bayley (Hugh Bonneville) at Oxford, he's a na´ve virgin easily flummoxed by her libertine spirit, arch personality, and obvious artistic talent. Decades later, little has changed as the couple (now played by Dench and Jim Broadbent) keeps house, with John doting on his more famous wife. When Iris begins experiencing forgetfulness and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[The] performances, if nothing else, embody a standard of excellence that Iris Murdoch herself would surely have cheered."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"There are not two, but four sterling performances here."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Admittedly, it's hard not to be affected."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"There is not a slouch in this film, in front of or behind the camera."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"Some films, like some people, grow more dear to one's heart with time. Iris is such a film."
‑ Gina Carbone, Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
"The impoverished story keeps Iris from achieving greatness, but no qualifiers are needed for the acting."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Not just a fitting document of a life brilliantly lived but a vibrant, almost palpitating piece of cinema."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Despite good acting from the two pairs, viewers expecting illuminating insights about the literary genius, eccentric philosophy and complex sexuality of Iris Murdoch will be disappointed by Richard Eyre's minor, rambling, TV-like film."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A mechanical, shallow reduction of a person's life."
‑ Mark Palermo, Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
"Love endures. That's perhaps the most important lesson to be learned in this unconventional love story."
‑ Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register
"For a movie whose subject is the decline and fall of a towering intellect, there's precious little to think about here."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"...intrigues and devastates."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"...Iris isn't necessarily an enjoyable piece of work, though it's certainly interesting..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Made by people who seem to think that tracking degenerate behavior is more important than character development"
‑ Jason Clark, Matinee Magazine
"Romantic - not of finding, but of knowing...the longer journey of being in love together, and living through what they experience."
‑ Karina Montgomery, Cinerina
More reviews for Iris on Rotten Tomatoes