Wit (2001)

TV Movie   |  PG-13   |    |  Drama

Wit (2001) Poster

A renowned professor is forced to reassess her life when she is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.




  • Emma Thompson in Wit (2001)
  • Emma Thompson in Wit (2001)
  • Jonathan M. Woodward in Wit (2001)
  • Christopher Lloyd in Wit (2001)
  • Emma Thompson in Wit (2001)
  • Emma Thompson in Wit (2001)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

12 August 2011 | frjacksjmd
Astonishing movie and superb teaching film
A friend gave me a copy of the play's script. I was stunned. A day or two later I rented and then quickly purchased the DVD. I am a physician with boards in internal medicine and psychiatry who has spent 35 years caring for the elderly and dying in hospital and hospice settings. This movie crystallizes those years of experience.

Six years ago I invited the ten medical students in my history taking group to view the film together in a setting away from the school. I have since repeated this twice yearly with each of the small groups under my charge. I made one big mistake the first year. After the movie ended I turned on the lights while the credits were running, oblivious to the sniffing and outright weeping on the part of the freshman medical students. Since then I've permitted the credits to run completely before turning on the lights. There is generally a delay of up to five minutes before any of them are able to say anything.

The student response has been uniform. Gratitude for having seen the film, awe of the realities of the profession they have chosen to enter and appreciation for the chance to come to a deeper understanding of their own selves and motivations for entering medical school.

Eileen Atkins is absolutely superb as Evelyn Ashford, PhD. Her scenes are brief but they bring the deeply religious underpinnings of the film to the fore. Her first scene, in which she recites the final stanza of Donne's Holy Sonnett X, (a scene which gave the movie its title) contrasts with the tender love in Vivian's hospital room. Her reciting of the poetry is astonishing. It was not until the sixth or so viewing (I've lost count) that I realized her parting words, "May the angels lead you to Paradise. . . " were the English translation of In Paradisum from the Roman Catholic funeral liturgy. That was one time when my tears joined the students.

Anyone working in medicine; students, residents, nurses and nursing students, aides and so on, should watch this movie. I generally used the class the day following the viewing for a discussion of the movie, the bedside manner of the docs, nurses, techs and so on as well as what feelings the movie stirred in them. The conversations have been memorable.

This is a movie that is not to be missed. It is tragic that it was made for television by HBO rather than given general theatrical release. Many fewer people have seen it is a result.

Critic Reviews

5 Travel-Inspired Streaming Picks

If you have wanderlust, our five movie and TV picks will take you on a journey to the south of France, to the backroads of South America, and to the Great Pyramids in Egypt.

Watch the video

A History of Golden Globe Winning Drama Performances

Take a look back at the talented actors and actresses who took home a Golden Globe for Best Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama since the category was created in 1951.

See the full gallery

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com