14 March 2013


Wit (2001)
  • Director: Mike Nichols
  • Based on Book: no
  • Cast: Emma Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, Eileen Atkins, Audra McDonald, Jonathan M. Woodward, Harold Pinter
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Emma Thompson – no list necessary
    • Christopher Lloyd – Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Postman Always Rings Twice, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    • Eileen Atkins – Cold Mountain, Cold Comfort Farm, The Hours, Robin Hood, Upstairs Downstairs, Last Chance Harvey, Cranford, Gosford Park, Titus Andronicus and many more
    • Audra McDonald: Homicide Life on the Streets
    • Harold Pinter – he pops up in movies quite frequently but he’s most recognizable to me from his speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize in literature.
  • Why bought: Had seen it and wanted it. Emma Thompson.
  • Seen: Twice. First time on TV. Now: October 28, 2012.

It leaves a lingering ache, this film.  The wit of the title is black humor indeed, laughing wryly, literally in the face of death.  And death wins, as it always does, and there’s no laughing then.  Death be not proud?  Death isn’t anything, it just is.  It’s life that’s the puzzle – courageous, paradoxical, cruel, loving, alone, seeking human connection. Degradation and dignity.
It’s all there in Emma Thompson’s stark straightforward soul-baring portrayal. Painful to watch.  And incredibly gripping.
10* of 10.

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