Synopsis: Iris, based on the life of revered British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch, is a story of unlikely yet enduring love. As a young academic, teaching philosophy at Oxford, Murdoch meets and eventually falls in love with fellow professor John Bayley, a man whose awkwardness seems in stark opposition to the spirited self-confidence of his future wife. The story unfolds as snippets of time, seen through Bayley's eyes. He recalls their first encounter over 40 years ago, activities they enjoyed doing together, and Iris' charismatic and individualistic personality. These images portray Murdoch as a vibrant young woman with great intellect and are contrasted with the novelist's later life, after the effects of Alzheimer's disease have ravaged her. Murdoch's great mind deteriorates until she is reduced to a mere vestige of her former self, unable to perform simple tasks and completely reliant on her at times frustrated yet devoted husband.
Director(s): Richard Eyre
Production: Miramax Films
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 31 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

I want you to come quick.

Don't go!

Edward Lanman was sitting in

his pleasant house in London

The sun was shining

It was an early morning in June, not quite...


Iris, wait for me.

Just keep tight hold of me and it'll be all right.

-You won't keep still.

-I can't keep still.

I can't catch up with you.

-Iris, you've got bicycle oil on your ankle.

-I don't care, John.

Those of you, our guests...

... on whose magnificent generosity

we depend...

...we really are most frightfully grateful...

...will need no introduction to

one of our most distinguished graduates...

... an honorary fellow, Dame Iris Murdoch.

She's a noted philosopher as well as

author of some twenty-six novels.

And we are honoured to have her with us today.

As well as the distinguished

Warton Professor of Literature..

...who has the great good fortune

of being married to her.

I need say no more about her.

For good wine needs no bush.

But she will not mind comparison with...

... say, a really fine vintage claret.

... Dame Iris will speak to you

about the importance of education.

Education doesn't make you happy.

And nor does freedom.

We don't become happy

just because we're free -- if we are...

... or because we've been educated, if we have.

But because education may be the means...

... by which we realise we are happy.

It opens our eyes, our ears.

Tells us where delights are lurking.

Convinces us that there is only one freedom...

... of any importance whatsoever.

That of the mind.

And gives us the assurance,the confidence... walk the path our mind,

our educated mind offers.

I shall tell him all my love.

All my soul's adoration.

And I think he will hear me.

And will not say me nay.

It is this that gives my soul.

All it's joyous elation.

As I hear the sweet larks sing.

In the clear air of the day.

Yes, of course there's something fishy...

... about describing people's feelings.

Try hard to beaccurate, but...

... as soon as you start to define

such and such a feeling...

... language let's you down.

When we really speak the truth,

words are insufficient.

Almost everything,

except things like "pass the gravy" ...

... is a lie of a sort.

And that being the case, I shall shut up.

And pass the gravy.

But love, or at least unsatisfied love...

... is concerned as much with understanding.

And real love, extreme love...

... once it's recognised

has stamp of the indubitable...

Ah, John, may I call you, John, may I?

Meet Miss Murdoch.

Iris, my dear, John Bayley.

One of the more promising young lecturers

in the English School.

Though I caught him out over

Old English grammar, his weaker side I fear.

A minor question of Anglo-Saxon syntax.


I mean...

... It went down the wrong way.

Yes, I like that.

There is a right way down, of course.

Amazing how most of us find it

without even thinking about it.

I rarely think...

If you think about it, you'll never find it.

Best thing to do

is hang on and trust the body. I do.

Human beings love each other.

In sex, in friendship...

... and when they're in love.

And they cherish other beings.

Humans, animals, plants - even stones.

The quest for happiness

and the promotion of happiness--

--is in all of this

and the power of our imagination.

I'm writing a novel.

I don't suppose you have the time

or the inclination to even read a novel.

I've written one. It's going to be published.

And I'm writing another.

Can I read it?

No-one has read It -- None of my friends.

What's it about?

About? It has something for everyone.

A bit like Shakespeare?

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Richard Eyre

Sir Richard Charles Hastings Eyre (born 28 March 1943) is an English film, theatre, television and opera director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Iris" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 25 Mar. 2023. <>.

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