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Lost Objects Of Desire

The Performances of Jeremy Irons

Mark Nicholls

198 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-443-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (July 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-444-7 eBook

Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Buy the ebook from these vendors


A fascinating and thought provoking reading of Jeremy Irons ... this book will make an excellent contribution to the way we read actors. The approach is innovative, imaginative, and full of delicate argument.  ·  Sean Redmond, Victoria University of Wellington


This first book-length critical study of Jeremy Irons concentrates on his key performances and acting style. Through the analysis of some of the major screen roles in Irons’s career, such as Brideshead Revisited, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Reversal of Fortune, Swann in Love, Dead Ringers and Lolita, Mark Nicholls identifies a new masculine identity that unites them: an emblematic figure of the 1980s and 1990s presented as an alternative to the action hero or the common man. Using clear explanations of complex theoretical ideas, this book investigates Jeremy Irons’s performances through the lens of sexual inversion and social rebellion, to uncover an entirely original but recognizable screen type.

Mark Nicholls is Senior Lecturer in Cinema Studies at the University of Melbourne where he has taught since 1993. His research interests include Hollywood cinema, Italian cinema, masculinity, Freudian psychoanalysis and Shakespeare adaptation. He is the author of Scorsese’s Men: Melancholia and the Mob (Pluto and Indiana University Press, 2004) and has published chapters and articles on Martin Scorsese, Luchino Visconti, Shakespeare in film and film and the Cold War.

Subject: Film Studies



Chapter 1. Imogen, Narcissism and the Intolerable Idea
Chapter 2. Brideshead Revisited: Charles Ryder Drowning in Honey
Chapter 3. The French Lieutenant's Woman: Charles Smithson; Beyond the Pale and Mike Beyond the Run
Chapter 4. Swann in Love: Exceptional Feelings
Chapter 5. Dead Ringers: The Flight from Strange and Unloved Women
Chapter 6. M. Butterfly: René Gallimard and the Flair for Melodrama
Chapter 7. Lolita: The Two Basic Laws of Totemism


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