|Directed by||Richard Attenborough|
|Screenplay by||William Nicholson|
|Based on|| Shadowlands |
by William Nicholson
|Produced by||Richard Attenborough|
|Edited by||Lesley Walker|
|Music by||George Fenton|
Spelling Films International
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (through United International Pictures )|
|Box office||$52 million|
Shadowlands is a 1993 British biographical drama film about the relationship between academic C. S. Lewis (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Jewish American poet Joy Davidman (played by Debra Winger), her death from cancer, and how this challenged Lewis's Christianity. It was directed by Richard Attenborough with a screenplay by William Nicholson based on his 1985 television film and 1989 stage play of the same name. The 1985 script began life as I Call It Joy written for Thames Television by Brian Sibley and Norman Stone. Sibley later wrote the book, Shadowlands: The True Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. The film won the 1993 BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film. The film marked the last film appearance of English actor Michael Denison.
In the 1950s, the reserved, middle-aged bachelor C. S. Lewis is an Oxford University academic at Magdalen College and author of The Chronicles of Narnia series of children's books. He meets the married American poet Joy Davidman Gresham and her young son Douglas on their visit to England, not yet knowing the circumstances of Gresham's troubled marriage.
What begins as a formal meeting of two very different minds slowly develops into a feeling of connection and love. Lewis finds his quiet life with his brother Warnie disrupted by the outspoken Gresham, whose uninhibited behaviour sharply contrasts with the rigid sensibilities of the male-dominated university. Each provides the other with new ways of viewing the world.
Initially, their marriage is one of convenience, a platonic union designed to allow Gresham to remain in England. But when she is diagnosed with cancer, deeper feelings surface, and Lewis' beliefs are tested as his wife tries to prepare him for her death.
Shadowlands received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 97% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 8.02/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Thanks to brilliant performances from Debra Winger and especially Anthony Hopkins, Shadowlands is a deeply moving portrait of British scholar C.S. Lewis's romance with American poet Joy Gresham."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "intelligent, moving and beautifully acted."
Rita Kempley of The Washington Post described it as "a high-class tear-jerker" and a "literate hankie sopper" and added, "William Nicholson's screenplay brims with substance and wit, though it's essentially a soap opera with a Rhodes scholarship . . . [Winger] and Hopkins lend great tenderness and dignity to what is really a rather corny tale of a love that was meant to be."
In Variety , Emanuel Levy observed, "It's a testament to the nuanced writing of William Nicholson ... that the drama works effectively on both personal and collective levels ... Attenborough opts for modest, unobtrusive direction that serves the material and actors ... Hopkins adds another laurel to his recent achievements. As always, there's music in his speech and nothing is over-deliberate or forced about his acting ... Coming off years of desultory and unimpressive movies, Winger at last plays a role worthy of her talent."
The stage play opens with Lewis giving a talk about the mystery of suffering, whereas this film intersperses a similar talk several times throughout the narrative. The television film opens with Lewis giving a radio broadcast about the sanctity of marriage.
In the stage play as in reality, Lewis and Davidman honeymoon in Greece. In the film, on their honeymoon they look for a "Golden Valley" in Herefordshire, England, as depicted in a painting hanging in Lewis' study.
As in the stage play, though not the earlier television film, Joy has only one son. In the original television film, as in reality, Joy had two sons, Douglas and David.
Hopkins was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Remains of the Day , so he was ineligible for Oscar consideration for this film.
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor, film director, and film producer. He has received many accolades, including two Academy Awards, four BAFTAs, two Emmys, the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a British Academy Television Award. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. Hopkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2008.
Terms of Endearment is a 1983 American family comedy-drama film directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks, adapted from Larry McMurtry's 1975 novel of the same name. It stars Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, and John Lithgow. The film covers 30 years of the relationship between Aurora Greenway (MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Winger).
Debra Lynn Winger is an American actress. She starred in the films An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Shadowlands (1993), each of which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for Terms of Endearment, and the Tokyo International Film Festival Award for Best Actress for A Dangerous Woman (1993). Her other film roles include Urban Cowboy (1980), Legal Eagles (1986), Black Widow (1987), Betrayed (1988), The Sheltering Sky (1990), Forget Paris (1995), and Rachel Getting Married (2008). In 2012, she made her Broadway debut in the original production of the David Mamet play The Anarchist. In 2014, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Transilvania International Film Festival.
Shadowlands is a play by William Nicholson adapted from his 1985 television film of the same name, directed by Norman Stone and produced by David M. Thompson for BBC Wales. It debuted at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth on 5 October 1989 before premiering at the Queen's Theatre in London on 23 October 1989. The play is about the relationship between Oxford don and author C. S. Lewis and the American writer Joy Gresham.
Helen Joy Davidman was an American poet and writer. Often referred to as a child prodigy, she earned a master's degree from Columbia University in English literature at age twenty in 1935. For her book of poems, Letter to a Comrade, she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 1938 and the Russell Loines Award for Poetry in 1939. She was the author of several books, including two novels.
Douglas Howard Gresham is an American British stage and voice-over actor, biographer, film producer, and executive record producer. He is one of the two stepsons of C. S. Lewis.
James Francis Ivory is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. For many years, he worked extensively with Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his domestic as well as professional partner, and with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All three were principals in Merchant Ivory Productions, whose films have won seven Academy Awards; Ivory himself has been nominated for four Oscars, winning one.
William Benedict Nicholson, OBE, FRSL is a British screenwriter, playwright, and novelist who has been nominated twice for an Oscar.
May Morning is an annual event in Oxford, United Kingdom, on May Day.
The 19th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, honoring the best in film for 1993, were given on 11 December 1993.
The 65th National Board of Review Awards, honoring the best in filmmaking in 1993, were announced on 14 December 1993 and given on 28 February 1994.
The 59th New York Film Critics Circle Awards honored the best filmmaking of 1993. The winners were announced on 15 December 1993 and the awards were given on 16 January 1994.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role is a British Academy Film Award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding supporting performance in a film. Actors of all nationalities are eligible to receive the award.
Brian Eastman is a producer of feature films, television drama, and stage productions. He has received two BAFTA awards and two international Emmy awards and his productions have received many other awards and nominations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society. He divides his time between the UK and US.
Shadowlands may refer to:
The 71st British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, were held on 18 February 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2017. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, accolades were handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2017. Following revelations of sexual harassment in the film industry, many attendees wore black or a badge to show their support for the Time's Up movement.
Shadowlands, also known as C.S. Lewis: Shadowlands and C.S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands, is a 1985 television film written by William Nicholson, directed by Norman Stone and produced by David M. Thompson for BBC Wales. The film is about the relationship between Oxford don and author C. S. Lewis and the American writer Joy Davidman. It stars Joss Ackland as Lewis, with Claire Bloom as his wife Joy Davidman.
The 74th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFAs, were held on 10 and 11 April 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2020 and early 2021. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, accolades were handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2020 and early 2021.