Hysteria

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HYSTERIA, a mischievously inspired romantic comedy set in the late 19th century, tells the surprising true story of the birth of the world’s first electromechanical vibrator, created in the name of medical science at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy), a struggling yet dedicated young doctor, is hired by Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), London’s leading specialist in women’s medicine. Indeed, his waiting room is overflowing with well-dressed women suffering afflictions of the female nervous system known as “hysteria.” Granville’s improved lot in life makes him a worthy suitor for Dalrymple’s prim-and-proper daughter Emily (Felicity Jones), but he is instead drawn to Dalrymple’s other daughter, the independent and feminist-minded Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Seeking refuge with his lifelong friend, the eccentric Edmund St. John Smythe (Rupert Everett), whose passion is newfangled technology, Granville is struck by how pleasurable the vibrating sensation of Smythe’s invention, an electric feather-duster, feels in his hand. A brilliant idea takes hold, and Granville and Smythe convince Dalrymple to try out the innovation on his patients, with spectacular results. More than a playful comic romp, HYSTERIA is a feisty love story and a trip into hidden history, an exploration of women’s passion and a celebration of the forward-thinking spirit that has always kept human progress buzzing.