Stanley and Iris

Director: Martin Ritt
Screenwriters: Pat Barker, Harriet Frank, Irving Ravetch

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


Iris King, a strong-willed, resourceful, working-class woman, has been a widow for just eight months and still grieves for the man she deeply loved. She has been left alone with her two children, sister and brother-and-law. At the bakery where she works, Iris meets Stanley Cox, a shy, capable man who, as It turns out, is illiterate.

The evolving relationship between Stanley (Robert De Niro) and Iris (Jane Fonda) is first that of student and teacher, then friends, and eventually something much, much more. As Iris teaches Stanley to read and write, she finds herself learning to trust, even love again. And as Stanley begins to comprehend the wealth of information and choices denied to him for so long, he, in turn, helps Iris to close an old chapter in her life and begin a new one . . . with him.

Whereas others might have pushed the emotions of these characters over the top, veteran director Rill and performers Fonda and De Niro are all paradigms of control and discipline. De Niro, as only he can be, is riveting in his ordinariness; Fonda so good she seems typecast for the. role. Part of the pleasure of watching Stanley and Iris is watching these multi Oscar winning masters at work: It is a seamless, fully mature production, hitting its emotional marks with assurance and the appearance of ease. Deep, moving, even profound, it is never sentimental or cheap in its emotional rhythm.

Friday, January 19 8:00p.m.
Capitol Theatre
$I5.00 & $I0.00

— Tony Safford

Screening Details

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