Miranda Richardson gives a distinguished, Oscar-nominated performance as Vivienne Haigh-Wood, the first wife of the repressed and ambitious poet T.S. Eliot (Willem Dafoe), in this disappointing account of a chaotic marriage. of a passionate, unstable young woman.
Viv’s passions, eccentricities and instability are explained as stemming from a severe hormonal problem, which now a days is easily treated, but not back then.
The emotional and marital problems ultimately lead Eliot to commit his wife to a mental institution for the rest of her life.
The film, directed by Brian Gilbert from a script by Michael Hatsings and Adrain Hodges based on Hastings’s play, contains superficial and unsatisfying scenes even by standards of a Hollywood family melodrama.
Oscar Nominations: 2
Actress: Miranda Richardson
Supporting Actress: Rosemary Harris
The Best Actress Oscar that year went to Jessica Lange, who played yet another unstable wife in Tony Richardson’s “Blue Sky,” opposite Tommy Lee Jones.
Rosemary Harris, the distinguished London and Broadway stage actress, who made only few films (“Spider-Man” included), lost the award to Diane Wiest in Woody Allen’s period comedy, “Bullets Over Broadway.”