Tom & Viv

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Tom & Viv ★★★ 1994 (PG-13)

American T.S. Eliot (Dafoe) is an Oxford student in 1914 when he meets the moody, monied Vivien Haigh-Wood (Richardson). After a whirlwind courtship, they marry—disastrously. Eliot begins to establish himself as a poet, while Vivien serves as muse/typist and unsuccessfully battles her misdiagnosed illnesses with too much drinking and drugs, as well as embarrassing public scenes. As Eliot gains success, he increasingly distances himself from the unhappy Viv, until finally committing her to an asylum. Dafoe is fine as the chilly, withdrawn poet but Richardson steals the film as his flamboyant, lost wife. Based on the play by Michael Hastings, who cowrote the screenplay. 115m/C VHS, DVD . GB Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson, Rosemary Harris, Tim Dutton, Nickolas Grace, Philip Locke, Clare Holman, Joanna McCallum; D: Brian Gilbert; W: Michael Hastings, Adrian Hodges; M: Debbie Wiseman. Natl. Bd. of Review ‘94: Actress (Richardson), Support. Actress (Harris).