Friday, February 25, 2011

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

I admire Emma Thompson so when NetFlix recommended a movie where she had a starring role, I put it in my queue.  "Wit" is almost a monologue, which Thompson accomplishes seamlessly.  The heroine has stage IV ovarian cancer and has agreed to treatment with an experimental drug combination.  Not a cheerful movie plot. But Vivian Bearing is interesting to me because she is an English literature professor, who teaches a tough course (succinct) using her intense knowledge of the metaphysical poetry of John Donne, especially the Holy Sonnets.  She thinks about things deeply, but keeps a fresh sense of humor full of word play.  It was also interesting to me as I am far removed from my own cancer treatment (coming up on 7th anniversary).  There is a touching scene at the end with "The Runaway Bunny" and her former graduate advisor.  "It has always been my custom to treat words with respect."

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