A wonderful love story ruined by illness. Magnificent sceneries, a wonderfully written set and two extraordinary actors. The film swings from love affair to a melodrama, although it also has got some very appealing reflections on life to be considered. It is based on the true story of C.S. Lewis, the Irish novelist, poet, academic both at Oxford and Cambridge, medievalist, literary critic, essayist and lay Christian apologist. He is best known for his fictional work, especially The Chronicles of Narnia.
In the 1950's, Jack Lewis is a brilliant professor in Oxford University, as well as a highly regarded writer. Conservative and practising Episcopalian, he leads the quiet life of an old shy boy. He lives with his brother Warnie, being both confirmed bachelors. One day Joy, a young Jewish American woman, breaks into the mysoginist Oxford Campus. She has got a young son and they are both fervent admirers of Professor Lewis. He is sourrounded in Oxford by a palette of snobbish, pedantic, single professors who gaze at life on top of their pulpits. Apparently, everything separates the old puritan man from this modern, atheist woman. Nonetheless, a devouring and forbidden passion is going to bring them together.
Unexpectedly, this lively and impulsive woman is diagnosed with cancer and falls ill. Jack then understands the extent of his love for her. He is an authority on giving lectures about the angst of destiny and God's motivations. However, when he has to live the unbearable sorrow that he knows how to explain, but hasn't wanted to live by himself, he meets himself again and tries to manage to bear it as an ordinary person.
They really share a great tenderness. Surprisingly, among such a big tragedy, they are going to find the way of living the short time they still have to the full.
Although the end is very sad, the film is a hymn to life and love.