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Shadowlands (1994)

After the sweeping, noble scale of Gandhi (1982) and Cry Freedom (1987), Richard Attenborough directed this more intimate drama which remains one of his best pictures to date.

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Based on William Nicholson’s play, it charts the tragic love affair between the author CS Lewis, creator of the Narnia Chronicles, and Joy Gresham, an American poet.

Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger give perfect performances. The tone is set by Winger’s entrance into Oxford’s Randolph Hotel: “Anyone here named Loowis?” she rasps – upsetting the decorum of academe and rattling Hopkins’s teacup – and thereafter, Hopkins’s life as an emotionally frigid bachelor is transformed.

With its immaculate 1950s setting, the film creates a totally convincing world and Attenborough gets beneath the skin of his characters like never before.

CS “Jack” Lewis
Anthony Hopkins
Joy Gresham
Debra Winger
Christopher Riley
John Wood
Warnie Lewis
Edward Hardwicke
Douglas Gresham
Joseph Mazzello
Desmond Arding
Julian Fellowes
Arnold Dopliss
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Harry Harrington
Michael Denison
Doctor Craig
Peter Firth
Bob Chafer
Andrew Seear
Nick Farrell
Tim McMullan
Rupert Parrish
Andrew Hawkins
College president
Peter Howell
Claude Bird
Robert Flemyng
Peter Whistler
James Frain
Frith
Toby Whithouse

Director
Richard Attenborough