- Rated: PG-13
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 39 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 11, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: HBO Home Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 09/14/2001
"...The Thompson-Nichols script is full of ironies and droll asides, delivered, of course, by an actress with few betters when it comes to delivering the gently mordant dialogue..."
Margaret Edson's Pulitzer-winning script is faithfully adapted to the small screen by director Mike Nichols and star Emma Thompson in this HBO special. Thompson plays Vivian Bearing, a professor of 17th Century poetry specializing in "the Holy Sonnets of John Donne." The intellect is everything to Vivian--which is why, when she is diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer--"there is no stage five"--she agrees to undergo aggressive chemotherapy in the name of cancer research. "You must be very tough," her doctor tells her, and Vivian is nothing if not tough--a tough professor who is tough on her students. Yet as her treatment--and her cancer--progresses, Vivian finds that what she needs most isn't the cold rationality with which she's lived her whole life and which is amply evidenced by the hospital staff attending her, but the simple human kindness shown by her primary nurse and her former mentor. This beautiful meditation on death and humanity is shot in close-ups that linger on Emma Thompson's spare, emotionally naked performance. Nichols's sure-handed direction brings out both the script's own wit and its poignancy.
Cable Original |
- Cable Television Premiere: March 2001 (HB0)