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The Hours (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  14 February 2003 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 93,692 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 653 user | 173 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Hours (2002)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 55 wins & 90 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barbara in Flower Shop
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Mrs. Latch
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Nelly Boxall
George Loftus ...
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Storyline

In 1951, Laura Brown, a pregnant housewife, is planning a party for her husband, but she can't stop reading the novel 'Mrs. Dalloway'. Clarissa Vaughn, a modern woman living in present times is throwing a party for her friend Richard, a famous author dying of AIDS. These two stories are simultaneously linked to the work and life of Virginia Woolf, who's writing the novel mentioned before. Written by Jonas Reinartz <jonas.reinarzt@web.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Always See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some disturbing images and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las horas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$338,622 (USA) (27 December 2002)

Gross:

$3,246,655 (Japan) (4 July 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(Kodak Theatre / 23 March 2003) When Nicole Kidman ascended the stage to accept her Best Actress Oscar from presenter Denzel Washington, co-star Ed Harris played the role of "seat-filler" when he occupied the vacant seat beside Kidman's mom for the duration of her acceptance speech. See more »

Goofs

During the bird burial, Virginia Woolf places all of the yellow roses on the bird's grave except one. The next time we see her she has 3 roses. See more »

Quotes

Angelica Bell: Goodbye.
Virginia Woolf: Goodbye, little girl.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.81 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Beim Schlafengehen
from "Four Last Songs"
Music by Richard Strauss
Text by Hermann Hesse
Performed by Jessye Norman, Soprano, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (as Gewandhaus Orchestra,
Leipzig)
Kurt Masur, Conductor
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Provocative and Hopeful
15 April 2003 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Boasting an exemplary cast, purposeful direction, authentic production values, and a haunting musical score, The Hours is a sincere praiseworthy attempt to adapt Michael Cunningham's prize-winning novel to the screen. It is provocative, introspective, hopeful, and at times downright desolate. As evidenced by the opening sequence, the value of life itself is called into question and it sets the tone for the rest of the film.

The complex storyline focuses on one day in the lives of three women from three different generations. Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is living outside of London with her husband in 1923, recovering from mental illness and beginning work on her now famous novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a 1950's suburban housewife, married to a World War II veteran (John C. Reilly), raising a small boy while expecting another child. And then there is Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep), a present-day version of Mrs. Dalloway, so named by her one-time lover and now AIDS-stricken writer Richard (Ed Harris), living in New York and planning one of her renowned parties for him following his reception of a prestigious poetry award.

Yet there is a common thread among them that effaces any 'real' normalcy in their lives and ultimately forces each of them to make life-altering decisions. Themes revolving around feminism and sexual preference stir just below the surface. But it is the prevailing sadness of these women brought on by the confinements of a restrictive and often stifling society that is at the core of this film. Their yearning for something more or for that 'one perfect moment' in time places each of them in the painful position to question their own existence. The sequences in each of their lives are carefully interwoven throughout the movie, enhancing their parallel struggles.

The Hours is skillfully directed by Stephen Daldry and contains some of the finest performances of the year. Julianne Moore's depiction of Laura Brown is filled with subtlety and nuance. She epitomizes a 1950's housewife with a constant shiny exterior who can barely contain the internal struggle of her life's claustrophobic confinements. Meryl Streep's Clarissa Vaughn, though bound by memories of her past, is somewhat less restricted in her character as a modern New York editor living with her female lover and therefore has more opportunity to display her considerable emotional range.

However it is Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Virginia Woolf that is the most mesmerizing and transforming performance in the film. She is completely submerged as the famous novelist of the early twentieth century. The hype concerning Kidman's prosthetic proboscis and its alleged distraction is much ado about nothing. To the contrary, it enhances her performance and allows her characterization of Virginia Woolf to fully emerge. Audiences will not recognize her, nor should they.

But if it is familiar players and plotlines you are seeking then The Hours is not for you. It is neither fantasy nor escapism, yet what it lacks in pure entertainment it makes up for with introspection and a somewhat hopeful ending.


58 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Julia calls Laura 'Monster' and later hugs her, I dont get it. athadu
Julianne Moore stole the movie THISisZODIACspeaking
Unrealistic kes992
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I saw this movie yesterday and I don't get it at all... SpecSnake
The worst movie I've seen in a long time thelayups
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