Jeremy Irons delivers a brilliant performance in this powerful and provocative motion picture. Irons portrays disillusioned history professor Tom Crick, who, in an age of cynicism and despair, inspires his students to embrace the past and discover the marvels and mysteries of life. For his final lecture, Crick tells the history of the English marshlands known as The Fens. He spins a tale that begins before World War I and encompasses his family history, his childhood with his mentally challenged brother and his romance with the beautiful girl who became his wife, but is now a deeply disturbed woman. In telling his story of incest, abortion, murder, domestic abuse, insanity and kidnapping, Crick gains an understanding of his tragic life as he pierces his students' apathy. A young Ethan Hawke heads a stellar supporting cast. Based on the novel by Booker Prize-winning author Graham Swift.