It's nice to see a literary tradition taken over by a film community that
respects it. The American literary tradition is usually based on how many
millions it sold, not anything in the past.
As is the case of the Ismael/Merchant group, this is another excellent
example of what loving an art, and an expression can do for any film. C. S.
Lewis has provided some beautiful stories that have been made into film.
None of them stand out so beautifully as this one, that pretty much explains
how a writer, and thinker, works. The words have meanings. The dialogue
speaks. And the film floors you.
C. S. Lewis was a writer and lecturer at Oxford in England. And he was able
to maintain the usual Oxford tradition for many years, until one day he
reads a letter about an American woman that had a dream about him. And she
comes to England to visit him, and see what the old world has to offer.
Their relationship is nothing but a friendship, until she leaves back to
America. A respectful relationship that displays a few things that affect
Jack's methods of teaching. The student that gets criticized
in one of his classes turns out to be a real writer in the midst of them.
He knows why he reads. The other students do not. All of a sudden, Jack's
life is the same way. And the American woman has returned and drops in one
of his many lectures and sermons. They meet again. She is in a dilemma.
And to help her, they marry on paper, just so she will not be deported with
her child. And one day, it is learned that she has cancer on her right leg.
Even though the new treatments of the day were rough, they managed to keep
her alive. Jack comes to understand something about love, and people, that
before only felt like words. They remarry, this time meaningfully.
And as she gets worst, it is Jack that is catching the worst of it, and has
a hard time talking to her son.
The film ends amidst a sheer attack of beauty, the kind that Jack loved to
discuss with his students, and wrote about many times.
There are many love stories in film. And there are many of them in novel
form that have yet to be filmed. But this one, is one that had film all
over written in it, and stands out as a very special moment, for a writer
that had a magnanimous heart, even if he is not remembered as such. And it
took the wildness of an American woman to bring out the humanity in him.
The appreciation of it all. The shine that much of his work has.
The performances by everyone in this work are excellent. And the beauty
with which they are delivered is something to behold, even if one thinks the
film is very talky, which I do. For once, even the talk grabs you full
tilt. And you feel the power of words, that became one of Lewis' best known
trademarks. The poetic description of a moment. His wife was gone, but the
feelings he learned were not.
A must see film, with a outstanding styles by both Anthony Hopkins and Debra
Winger. If you miss this one, you just do not know how to appreciate
anyone who really has some loving to share. Few of us, the lucky few. C.
S. Lewis, is one of them. The performances here, are the other part of the
Copyright © 1994 Pedro Sena