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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
I only rented this movie because I think Anthony Hopkins is an amazing actor and he didn't let me down.

He plays C.S Lewis, the author of the Narnia books among others. 'Jack' (as his brother calls him) is an ageing university lecturer in Oxford who lives with his equally single brother simply passing the time teaching people literature and belief in God. His...
Published on 22 Feb 2007 by RD

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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ignores some very important aspects of the real story, such as Jack's struggle to marry Joy and their healing 'miracle'.
I loved the version of Jack and Joy's story as portrayed by Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom, having read and been very moved by the original. However, the script for this version has been altered so much that it presents a serious distortion of the truth.

Small examples: Joy had two sons; here she has only one. Why? Joy didn't move to London; she moved straight...
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by Dr. V. Stewart


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tony, Deb and Lang, 24 Jun 2012
By 
R. Schaad - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
Although not historically true, SHADOWLANDS is pleasing to the eye and brought a few tears as well. Anthony Hopkins does his usual low key best and Debra Winger dies in yet another movie go around. Richard Attenborough's film, as usual, is well constructed and acted. A bonus is the piano theme played by Lang Lang. Now go watch the other SHADOWLANDS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professor turns into human being, 3 July 2009
By 
Diederik Thuyn (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
This is a truly spiritual film. We see how the main character Prof. C. S. Lewis has very interesting views on the meaning of suffering and what real love means. He is very succesful with his books and talks, mainly before a female audience. But he leads a comfortable, secluded bachelor's life togheter with his brother and teaches at Oxford where his priviliged position is still under no discussion (fifties!).
Then a woman comes into his life and she really thouches him although he doesn't admit it to himself. Only when she falls ill with cancer and death is threatening does he realize what his feelings are and how much real love and suffering are connected.
And that's what being human is about: being vulnerable which is not the same as being sentimental. But it's a rare phenomenon to be seen these days, certainly in modern films.
Very well acted and filmed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow but moving, 20 Feb 2009
By 
Riplet (Geordie Land) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
Although this film may not be factually accurate it gives the viewer a sense of a love that is taken away by bereavement. The acting is superb and the sets take you back to the actual period in which the film is set. I would recommend this film, but keep a box of tissues nearby.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadowlands, 19 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. R. Brown (Croydon, South London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
Shadowlands is one of Richard Attenborough's best films. It is, by turns, touching, funny and moving (especially at the end) and evokes, for me at least, the atmosphere of the '50s as I experienced it in England. While some people might balk at the lack of total historical accuracy (Douglas Gresham had a brother, for example), I personally believe that to clutter the story with extra characters would have slowed it down to the point where there would have been too many sub-plots to cleanly resolve and resulted in a lesser film. As it is, the characters of C. S. Lewis (palyed by Antony Hopkins) and Joy Gresham (Debra Winger) are beautifully brought out by two actors at the peak of their powers. The end of the movie is more heartbreaking than almost any I have ever seen, mostly because it is so well underplayed. It is well worth anyone's money and if the movie didn't win an academy award (and I don't think it did)it should have done.Enjoy - but have the tissues ready!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Remains of the Day, 13 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS (Llandudno N Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
Praise indeed but on my first viewing of Richard Attenboroughs beautifully paced drama set mainly at Magdelanes college in Oxford i was amazed by the quality of script and acting.

This is an account of Professor of English and author of the Narnia books C S Lewis love and loss in a magnificently directed drama.

Mr Hopkins plays the role of the confirmed bachelor who lives with his brother most convincingly.

As i have already said the pace of the film is very slow but beautifully directed and is better for it aswell.

Debra Winger easily deserved Oscar nomination for her role as the American admirer Joy Gresham but it is her young son whose anticapation of meeting his hero Jack
(played by Hopkins)that makes this film endearing.Its akin to a young child going to see Santa for the first time,trepadation and fear but great excitement.

Hopkins throughout most of the film is reserved not letting his guard down the typical middleaged bachelor but Mrs Greshams upfront manner breaks down his guard and he finds love for the first time.

This part of the film especially is handled brilliantly by Hopkins who goes to tremendous lengths to conceal his love for a divorcee American from his Oxford Dons.

The scene where other college professors who have known CS Lewis for over 25years see him with a brash American woman is funny and well acted at the same time.

Although the narrative and storyline are vastly different to Remains of the Day, Hopkins portrayal of the lone confirmed bacherlor falling in love for the first time is a magnificent piece of acting.

With a storyline based on true facts Attenboroughers great direction and Hopkins magnificent acting make Shadowlands a truly memorable film.

Nearing the end of the film when Mrs Gresham marries Lewis for the first time to allow her and son Douglas to remain in the country the film moves at a slightly quicker pace.

Joy's accident whilst answering the telephone diagnoses terminal cancer of the left leg.

The attachment of CS to Mrs Gresham grows and grows,the beautifull backdrop of the Golden Valley in Herefordshire is most moving but the now devoted husband having officially remarried her in hospital clings onto the hope that she may become well again.

Of the many films i have seen few are as moving as Hopkins vigil besides his wifes bed and final farewell after his realisation of her passing away.

There is one scene that those familiar with the film will remember showing the true magnificence of Hopkins as an actor.

Young Douglas whose earlier disappointment at finding the famous wardrobe (taken from Lewis great novel The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) in Lewi's attic bare and holding no secrets now sits infront of it remembering his now dead mother.

Lewis obviously so ill at ease with children explains how he lost his mother at the age of nine but the moment when they both break down in tears and hug each other is so heartrending that its overpowering.

I defie anyone not to shed a tear in this moment of great sorrow.

Hopkins acting at this point is simply breathtaking.

There are few people who would criticise Hopkins in this mesmorising piece of acting,he plays the grieving husband and doting father so well that its hard to imagine any actor dead or alive improving on it.

That final scene of a revisit to the Golden Valley with Douglas and pet dog running towards his new father CS Lewis seals what to me is one of the finest films made by Richard Attenborough even of equal merit with Ghandi.

The film was made in the wrong year,1993 when Schindlers List won all the Oscars of note but i still cannot make my mind up on which film is supream Remains of the Day or Shadowlands,both so different but of equal merit because of the trully spellbinding acting by all involved.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ignores some very important aspects of the real story, such as Jack's struggle to marry Joy and their healing 'miracle'., 7 Feb 2008
By 
Dr. V. Stewart (Somerton,, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
I loved the version of Jack and Joy's story as portrayed by Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom, having read and been very moved by the original. However, the script for this version has been altered so much that it presents a serious distortion of the truth.

Small examples: Joy had two sons; here she has only one. Why? Joy didn't move to London; she moved straight to Oxford from the USA - why change it?

But the most important objection is to the circumstances surrounding their marriage and their 'miracle', which are simply left out. Everyone knows that CS Lewis was a highly successful advocate of the Christian faith. However, when he decided that he wanted to marry Joy under the auspices of the Church, permission was refused him because Joy was divorced. He had a huge struggle to find a priest who would defy the Bishop and marry them. None of this is shown in the movie.

Nor is it shown that, immediately after the priest - Father Peter Bide - had married them on what they thought would be Joy's deathbed, he asked permission to say some prayers for healing for Joy. It was immediately after this that Joy's recovery began, and the two of them referred to it as their 'miracle.' This is not shown either, but to the two people most closely concerned this was obviously deeply important to them.

Parts of the real story have been sacrificed to make the movie 'pretty.' Jack and his brother Warnie lived in considerable squalor, and Anthomy Hopkins is far too good-looking for the original (do try to find the Joss Ackland version - it came out on video, though I'm not sure it went to DVD). And because they've dropped Joy's second son from the script, they can't show the close parallel between Joy's two boys losing their mother at almost exactly the same age as when Jack and Warnie lost theirs.

It's a pretty movie, and had it been advertised as a work of fiction and the names of the characters changed then it would have worked well. But far too many people will believe that this is the true story of Jack and Joy Lewis, and won't be shown those aspects that mattered most to the real people in their real world.

Guess what? I've just searched for the Joss Ackland/Claire Bloom version - it's been released in the USA. Just search for Shadowlands and scroll past the Hopkins version. I'm so pleased.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
Great film, great service
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
fantastic film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Hopkins best performance?, 8 July 2014
This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
It is staggering that AH did this and Remains of the Day in the same year. Both are in my top 5 alltime sad movies. But I think this comes very close to being Mr Hopkins finest ever showing. And lets facxe it - his catalogue aint half bad. If you havent seen this movie, then watch it. And if you dont at least shed part of a tear - you are most probably dead already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A master movie!, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD] (DVD)
I surched so long to find the dvd, and it is a very good film!!
Only next time maybe you can tape the dvd inside the box, because now it didn't stuck in the middle.
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