Movie Details

The private life of celebrated author and philosopher Ayn Rand takes center stage in this film produced for the Showtime cable network. In 1951, Ayn Rand (Helen Mirren) is a best-selling author and celebrated thinker when she meets Nathaniel Branden (Eric Stoltz) and his friend Barbara (Julie Delpy), two college students who admire her writing and ideas. Rand takes the students under her wing, but before long her mentoring becomes less benevolent and more abusive. She badgers Barbara and Nathaniel, who were never more than close friends, into marrying, and while Nathaniel responds well to Rand's tutelage, Barbara begins to shrink from Rand's lack of compassion, which Rand sees as weakness. Things become more uncomfortable when, after Barbara and Nathaniel join Ayn and her often-ignored husband Frank O'Connor (Peter Fonda) on a vacation, Ayn and Nathaniel demand "permission" to have an affair, which they feel is dictated by the importance of their work. Based on Barbara Branden's autobiography about her years with Rand, The Passion Of Ayn Rand was premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi