Tom & Viv - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom & Viv Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 8, 2014
Sometimes biopics get lost and this is another prime example of one. Eliot's charm on the page is not translated into an interesting character despite the best efforts of Dafoe.
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2014
This is a biopic of the life of poet T.S. Eliot (Tom) and Vivian Haigh-Wood, and their lives together. There are just so many things that deter excitement when it comes to this film, though their real relationship was rather bitter and caustic, which usually makes for decent biopics. The events of their lives have been analyzed by countless historians and there are two conflicting stories: one that Haigh-Wood was mentally insane and was sent away to an institution, which has been pretty accepted throughout time, and two, that Haigh-Wood was made insane by a misdiagnosis and sentenced to an asylum for the rest of her life, imprisoned by her husband and to a lesser extent by her brother. The latter is the now proven truth, and makes up the film's structure. Now, watching the actual film, you are not given that impression, because Eliot seems to be sympathized with. Throughout the film we see Haigh-Wood's declining health, her errant behavior, loud outbursts and crude language and actions. Eliot is shown to be soft spoken, reserved, and inclined to finally be part of the literary community, while Haigh-Wood is raucous and seems to be trying to oust her husband. She is supposed to be a free spirit, but that's not how it comes across. Eliot obviously wants to be respected with his poetry, and though he is shown to go to extreme lengths to do it, he doesn't tell Vivian to shut up, to take more medication, or threatens her in any way. The film shows that he plots to stick her away, and freezes her assets, making her a prisoner. This seems strange since he could have just divorced her, and though this may be the truth, it's not presented very clearly. A lot of stuff gets muddled in translation and then it ends abruptly. Even if it were truthful, it wouldn't make any sense, between the subdued murmur of Willem Dafoe and the shrill yells of Miranda Richardson.
June 11, 2013
Depressing. Dafoe is wooden (though perhaps Eliot was, too). Didn't finish watching it.
December 26, 2012
I enjoyed Miranda Richard's performance, but had a lot of trouble picturing William Dafoe as T.S. Eliot.
January 26, 2012
Not an easy drama to enjoy or understand, but well made all the same. Defoe is uneven though, and that is the real weakness in an otherwise fine film.
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2010
nominated for best picture by NBR
½ June 29, 2009
Only seen this once. Miranda Richardson as always utterly storming - W Dafoe scarcely less so as the "he's so uptight when he farts only dogs can hear it" Mr Eliot. Box of chocs, box of hankies, must see for anyone who (whisper it now) thinks T S Eliothad his head right up there in his colon...
½ May 18, 2009
A boring biopic. Plotwise, this self-absorbed tale goes nowhere after the first 15 minutes.
July 6, 2008
Excellent. Dafoe and Richardson are great together.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2008
An great film. An amazing cast. A tragic love story.
April 18, 2008
Probably my favorite Willem Dafoe role ever.
April 5, 2008
Poor crazy Viv. I thank god frequently that I was born in an age of modern medicine, where we can take care of these things a little more effectively.
½ March 10, 2008
As a big fan of T.S. Eliot I may be a bit biased, but the performances and material covered in this movie are both great. It takes you to a different period in time, where even medicine is nothing like we know it to be now. While there, it examines Eliot and his relationship with his "troubled socialite" wife Vivienne, and the influence on both his life AND his writing. Willem Dafoe is impressive in yet another role.
½ February 11, 2008
Good movie about T.S. Eliot and his wife Vivian. Very good character study and interesting insight into the complete lack of knowledge that people had in the late 19th and early 20th century about women as well as how the mind and body works. Showed how T.S. Eliot, like many people of the day, would rather commit his wife then spend more than a little time to actually figure out what was going on... Very similar to the way Virginia Woolf was treated by her family and husband. And as always, any movie relating to Bloomsbury is of interest to me :)
February 1, 2008
Watched a long time ago, but enjoyed. A good statement on human condition.
November 23, 2007
As an Eliot fan, my favorite scene is where Tom & Viv are doing a reading of a then incomplete version of "The Waste Land."
½ September 9, 2007
if you are at all a T.S. Eliot fan, you HAVE TO see this movie. Amazing cast.
August 22, 2007
T.S. Eliot was a bitch
½ August 22, 2007
A fantastic film, especially if interested in teh Bloomsbury set an dall their weirdness. Excellent acting especially Defoe, Richardson, Dutton and Grace. I loved it!
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