HBO, Saturday, March 24, 9 p.m E.T.

Margaret Edson's affecting, Pulitzer prize-winning play about an English professor dying of cancer has been adapted for TV with taste and resourcefulness by director Mike Nichols. The subject is so strong, and Emma Thompson's performance so moving, that it seems a shame to carp. But the TV movie, like the play, treads a predictable path, especially in its portrayal of the insensitive doctors. And the most courageous and startling moment in the stage version--the middle-aged protagonist disrobes in a burst of light at the very end--is inexplicably gone.

--By Richard Zoglin


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