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London, summer 1923. Clarissa, MP Richard Dalloway's wife, sets out on a beautiful morning; she's shopping for flowers for her party that evening. At the same time Septimus Warren Smith, a young man who survived the battlefields of Europe, is suffering from a nightmarish delayed-onset form of shell-shock. Clarissa's nearly-grown daughter is distant, and preoccupied. In the course of one day, Peter, Clarissa's passionate old suitor, returns from India and is invited to her party; Septimus commits suicide; Clarissa relives a day in her youth (and her reasons for her choice of a life with the reliable Richard Dalloway). Written by
Eileen Berdon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a beautiful little film, which portrays the book admirably. When put up against its counterpart in The Hours I think it compares favourably. For sure it is a much smaller film in both stature and actor profiles, but this does not make it worse, in fact quite the contrary.
The English cast do a great job, on this essentially English story, with strong performances all around, notably from the leads from both eras. It is nicely shot, and the script has been well managed, and achievement for a Virginia Woolf novel.
I often find myself trying to pick out flaws in films like this, but the only possible complaint I can think of is the lack of continuity in height ratio between the leads over the two eras, petty some might say, and actually a small price you might expect to pay when you cast the wonderful Vanessa Redgrave.
I can't help feel sorry for those people who don't get this film. If Virginia Woolf isn't your cup of tea fair enough, but to think this and therefore the book is boring can only mean a lack of understanding or appreciation of Woolf's views on the point of life.
In essence when I watched this film it charmed me for an hour and a half, and then when it was finished left me questioning the value of my life, and important decision I had made, and was yet to make, which if you have ever read it is exactly what the book does.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful.
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