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Customer Review

on November 21, 2002
I just tried to write a review of this just re-watched film, from the Pulitzer Prize winning play, and I got all tangled up. So, I'm not going to go into "the story." Just watch this brilliant, moving film about the regimented, respected but feared English professor, whose world is taken from her, when she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Narrated throughout by her character, the brilliant Emma Thompson takes us through her progressive deterioration and loss of control amidst the sometimes indifference of the medical profession. Audra McDonald is wonderful also as the nurse, Susie, who, though a total professional, is not only the voice of compassion, but the keeper of Thompsons "Professor Barrie's" dignity, when she can no longer defend it for herself. She is a perfect contrast to the often all to real portrayal of the fresh-faced new doctor, played by Jonathan Woodward, who effectively conveys the preoccupation with stats, data, etc...in his eagerness to "analyze", forgetting there's a human being in that bed to which the stat chart is attached. The scene near the end, where Thompson/Barrie is visited by her grand-motherly former professor, who proceeds to cradle her in her hospital bed and tenderly read a childrens story to her, and bids her good bye, is one of the most moving scenes I've ever experienced. It is not an easy film to watch. Having just lost my life-long friend, who died at 47, in hospice, it was especially poignant. But, if you watch one film, watch "Wit." It is beyond being labeled as mere entertainment, and, though the subject matter is in itself depressing, the film is not. It is one of those increasingly very, very rare films that will greatly move you. And, though you pretty much know from the first words spoken in the film where it is headed, it is ultimatley life affirming, and very touching in its conveyance of the dignity of the human spirit. Easily one of the most intelligent, moving, beautiful movies I've ever seen. Watch it.
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