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DVD Review: C. S. Lewis through the Shadowlands

C. S. Lewis through the Shadowlands

Author(s):Joss Ackland, Claire Bloom, Norman Stone (director), William Nicholson (script)
Date Published:2004
Website:None listed
Appropriate for Age:All


 Shadowlands is about learning to love and deal with the death of a loved one, using as its narrative base the fictionalized story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman's friendship and marriage. There are two film versions of the William Nicholson play: the 1986 TV film made with Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom, and Richard Attenborough's 1993 polished production with Anthony Hopkins and Deborah Winger. I like both of them, but I think the earlier version is a cleaner story, and closer to the actual events, especially in keeping both of Davidman's sons in the story and avoiding some of the more preachy scenes of the theatrical release. Ackland's Lewis is older, weaker physically, scruffier and less certain than Hopkins', and ultimately warmer and more resonant with Lewis's character. (On the other hand, Winger brings a brashness to her Joy Davidman that is probably much closer to the original than Claire Bloom's gentle treatment of the character).

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