Movie of the Week: ‘Shadowlands’

The legendary Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins turns 83 years young on Dec. 31, so AHFW just has to pick one of his great films as our movie of the week.

“Shadowlands” (1993) – Hopkins stars as C.S. Lewis, and the famous writer meets and falls in love with American poet Joy Gresham (Debra Winger), who teaches this professor a thing or two about the affairs of the heart.  Based on a true story, director Richard Attenborough lets his talented actors shine, as Clive and Joy welcome their differences.  He’s eternally reserved, but her openness and candor places the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” author on his heels, which it turns out that he needs.

Attenborough and cinematographer Roger Pratt capture the regal formalities of British universities and gorgeous, rich countryside that provide the graceful settings for this equally strong and fragile relationship.

“Shadowlands” rightfully earned two Oscar nominations – Winger for Best Actress and William Nicholson for adapted screenplay – but Hopkins was left aside.  Well, he did receive a Best Actor nom that year for “Remains of the Day” (1993), and hey, the Academy must have wished to make some room for others (i.e. Tom Hanks for “Forest Gump”, Liam Neeson for “Schindler’s List”, etc.).

Well, don’t forget Hopkins’ stirring performance and this beautiful film.  Don’t forget your tissues either.

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2  out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image credits: Savoy Pictures; Trailer credits: SMMC4lyfe

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