DVD - 2001
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Vivian Bearing is an English professor with a biting wit that both educates but also alienates her students. With her teaching and life both rigidly under control, Vivian would never let down her defenses, until the day comes when they are taken down for her. Diagnosed with a devastating illness, Vivian agrees to undergo a series of procedures that are brutal, extensive, and experimental. For eight months, her life must take a completely uncharted course. No longer a teacher, but a subject of study for others, Vivian Bearing is about to discover a fine line between life and death that can only be walked with wit.
Publisher: New York : HBO Home Video, c2001.
ISBN: 9780783118413
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min) :,sd., col. ;,12 cm.


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Oct 07, 2018

I remember being on tour many years ago and Wit was on HBO and a few of my colleagues joined me in my room for a sob fest
Highly recommended

May 11, 2017

Quietly moving. I didn't find anything to be funny, but the character played by Thompson was braver than I could ever be. All the docs were jerks, although certainly competent. The part of the nurse was played by the exceptionally talented Audra McDonald; I hope if I'm ever a hospital patient I get someone like her for my nurse! I kept hoping Thompson's character would get a reprieve, but I've had two friends die of stage 4 ovarian cancer, so I didn't really expect it. Cancer is just so evil.

Apr 18, 2017

Just a glance at the other KCLS patron reviews of "Wit" tells me that I am not alone in finding this film to be a worthwhile experience. Humor is good for the soul as this film so wisely shows. Emma Thompson is wonderful and I shall remember her performance in "Wit" for a long time to come. To say I was emotionally moved would be an understatement. "Wit" is brilliantly written and performed. One of the best film by Mike Nichols!!

Mar 30, 2017

Wow, this movie is so true to life. I am retired from San Francisco General Hospital(2010) as a 1404 for the MHRF facility(locked psych) and one of my few friends, Edi King called me, and told me she was going to E.R. because the "flu" was "kicking her a--" and I told her,they are probably going to fill her full of antibiotics and liquids,and told her to call me when she got back,but 5 days later she died,because it wasn't the flu,but her breast cancer had come back with a vengeance and "thats that"! In 1968 I was a door gunner in Vietnam(huey-troop transport) with the 335th air-mobile assault in Bearcat and from that experience I lost my sense of humor but Edi made me laugh and to this day, I still miss Her and this movie reminds us all that we need to connect to each other somehow because death is guaranteed for us all! Aloha Jim
PS -"Oh s--- taxi's here" is the last thing she said to me. We were talking on the phone when the taxi that was taking her to the E.R. started honking for her so I was probably the last person she talked to from her house which she had finally paid off her mortgage on - dam cancer!

Jun 30, 2016

Excellent thought-provoking movie about priorities in life. The lesson is, don't wait until you think you're dying to assess what's important in life. A sterile life with no friends, leaves you quite alone when you have health issues to confront ... In the medical world of hospitals, you may end up being treated as just a disease (an ovarian cancer) - and not a actual person with emotional needs and feelings.

Mar 08, 2016

i cried. =[

Feb 19, 2015

As usual, Emma gives a fantastic performance in this narrative drama. Brought tears to my eyes in the end. I didn't like the young intern, thought he was tremendously full of his self and had a really bad dismissive bedside (lack of ) manner. I loved Susie the nurse from the start. I thought her kindness and caring was the stuff great people are made of. If she were the doctor in this film, I would want her for my personal physician. It's strange how the acting is so true to life when it comes to doctors. Haven't met one yet that wasn't a pill pusher or a know it all! Great performances and a great film. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

Dec 30, 2014

This is not an easy movie to watch, but it will stay with you forever. I saw it many years ago, and was deeply moved by Emma Thompson's performance. I recently watched it again, thinking it wouldn't have the same impact - and boy was I wrong! This is a highly emotional film, probably more so if you've dealt with any cancer in your life. I felt that it was a very real examination of a woman evaluating her life at it's end, and the value of compassion received by others -- especially the medical staff. Highly recommend this.

Dec 05, 2014

Every now and again a film will bypass my usual defense mechanisms and strike me to my very core; such is the case with this made-for-cable feature based on Margaret Edson’s pulitzer prize winning play. Emma Thompson is phenomenal as Vivian Bearing, a fiercely intelligent, somewhat starchy professor of English literature who discovers she has an aggressive form of ovarian cancer which has already spread beyond her pelvis. Faced with a grim prognosis Vivian agrees to undergo a gruelling eight month course of experimental chemotherapy. As the disease and chemicals take their toll on her body she begins to reflect not only on the past but on the words of John Donne, her favourite poet and the subject of her thesis, whose meditations on life, death, and salvation become paramount as her own life slowly ebbs away. Composed mainly of incisive monologues, often delivered directly to the camera, Vivian takes us on a personalized tour of her ordeal from the agonies of non-stop nausea and hair loss (Thompson actually shaved her head for the part) to the endless indignities administered by disinterested technicians (not an entirely fair representation). Along the way she critiques her own life…sometimes reliving key moments clad only in hospital gown and IV pole or watching dispassionately as figures from her past file silently past her hospital bed. One brilliant yet rather cavalier intern, a former student of hers, provides a mirror of sorts in which Vivian catches uncomfortable glimpses of her own academic mindset. Heartbreaking yet never maudlin, painfully honest yet never voyeuristic, this is the story of a proud and independent woman suddenly having to face her own mortality and in so doing achieve that final grace which awaits each one of us. A powerful tale told with dignity and compassion, and one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Highly recommended to all of my colleagues in healthcare.

Aug 21, 2014

It's been years since I've seen this movie, but I still want to cry when I think about her friend/professor reading the children's book at the end...

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