Nora (2001)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Nora Videos

Nora Photos

Movie Info

The true story of the intense love affair between James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, the simple servant girl who became his life-long lover and muse.
R (for some strong sexuality and related dialogue)
Documentary , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


Susan Lynch
as Nora Barnacle
Ewan McGregor
as James Joyce
Peter McDonald
as Stanislaus Joyce
Aedin Moloney
as Eva Joyce
Roberto Citran
as Roberto
Pauline McLynn
as Miss Kennedy
Andrew Scott
as Michael
Vinnie McCabe
as Uncle Tommy
Veronica Duffy
as Annie Barnacle
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Nora

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Lynch manages to make Nora's temperamental tempestuousness not only credible and admirable, but deeply alluring.

June 1, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A convincing portrait of the intersection between creative genius and crazy, all-consuming love.

May 21, 2001
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

A muddy tale of sex, love, obsession, jealousy, cruelty and abandonment that can keep one at a distance.

May 11, 2001
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A gorgeous period piece with rich, vigorous portrayals of Joyce ... and Barnacle.

Full Review… | May 4, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Intense performances, but a literal literary downer.

August 18, 2006
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Susan Lynch is a bold and daring Nora.

Full Review… | July 25, 2001
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Nora

James Joyce and Nora Barnacle fall in love, but societal pressures and sexual obsession complicate their relationship. When I write the one-sentence plot summary in my reviews, I try to find the central conflict; however, finding the central conflict, what keeps this film interesting, is remarkably difficult, and I had difficulty putting my finger on what keeps these lovers apart. At times it is societal pressures about sex and sexuality, and at times the film focuses on Joyce's jealousy, his feeling that it is impossible to truly know Nora sexually. What's worse is that by the end of the film, I didn't see the central conflicts coming to any kind of resolution. What adjustments do these characters make in order to function together? What should we learn from this story? I think the reason I enjoyed this film a little bit is the insight into Joyce's work. We see scenes that are reminiscent of "The Dead," "Araby," and Ulysses. I didn't know that Nora was the inspiration for each of these works, so I guess I learned something. Overall, this isn't a complete film because the conflict isn't resolved and I think one needs to be intimately familiar with Joyce's writing in order to understand it.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Not enough exploration or explanation. You don't quite ever understand why this couple is together or James Joyce's purpose for writing. I wanted more.

Rakisha Kearns-White
Rakisha Kearns-White

I'm giving this only two stars: One for Ewan McGregor, and one for James Joyce. Unless you are obsessed with the careers of either one, there is absolutely no reason to watch this movie. McGregor does his best to lend his shining talent to this turd. I've seen better production value on the Lifetime network or PBS. Completly boring. I might as well have listened to an Audio Book of Joyce's biography.

Sean Gillespie
Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer

Nora Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Nora on our Movie forum!

News & Features