A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
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 <email@example.com>
During the editing stages, producer Scott Rudin received a call from author Michael Cunningham requesting to see some of the footage. Cunningham's mother (on whom the character Laura Brown was originally based) was entering into the final stages of terminal cancer and Cunningham dearly wanted his dying mother to see something he had written committed to film. Rudin hastily assembled 20 minutes of footage and had it sent over to the Cunninghams. See more »
In the Virginia Woolf segment, Leonard Woolf is shown setting type for their press, Hogarth Press. In fact, Leonard's hands shook so that he could not set type, and it was Virginia who did the typesetting. Virginia found setting type calming, and said that it shaped her feel for words on the page, influencing her approach to writing. See more »
[Narrating the letter]
Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel I can't go through another one of these terrible times and I shant recover this time. I begin to hear voices and can't concentrate. So, I am doing what seems to be the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I know that I am spoiling your life and without me you could work and you will, I know. You see I can't even write ...
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The Hours is a great achievement for all of the people involved in this project. Credit must go to the director, Stephen Daldry, who pulls all the elements together.
Having admired the text where this film is based, I wondered what would any writer do with Michael Cunningham's book where three lives of three different eras intermingle with one another. David Hare treatment of the material rings true to the novel in which it's based.
The biggest revelation in the film is Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf. I have been a great admirer of this, up to now, underrated Australian actress, right from her beginnings down under. Her approach to the role is very subdued, perhaps underplaying, where someone else might try to have gone over the top stressing Virginia's madness. All the praise Ms Kidman has received for this film is certainly well deserved.
The other great performance is Julianne Moore. This actress keeps getting better and better with any new appearance on the screen. Her Laura Brown is a pathetic figure. She's a desperate soul trapped in the Los Angeles suburbia of the 40s. She has a man, who obviously loves her. She has a son who shows all the signs, even then, of what he might ultimately become in life. Laura wants to end it all. She just doesn't belong in that world of domestic bliss. Ms Moore gets the right tone in playing Laura. There's not a wrong movement in her approach to this demanding role.
The third outstanding portrayal is Meryl Streep's. The sure hand of the director is obviously behind her reining the excesses she likes so well. This Clarissa Vaughan is in limbo in her own life. Her relationship with the younger lover is clearly over, or at least seen better days. Ms Streep gives a dignified reading of this character.
The rest of the cast is brilliant: Miranda Richardson, Tony Colette, Ed Harris, John C. Reilly, and little Jack Rovello. They are all on the mark.
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