Based on John Bayley's two memoirs about his marriage to novelist Iris Murdoch, Iris is in almost all respects expertly done. But the movie, directed by Richard Eyre, from a screenplay by Eyre and Bayley, is so saturated with details from Bayley's books that the story can't breathe. It's more collage than narrative. The film moves back and forth without much logic between the years of the couple's courtship, when Bayley was desperately trying to hold on to Murdoch, and the final years of their marriage, when Bayley's love is tested not by her uncompromising individuality but by her struggle with Alzheimer's.
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