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The Hours (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  14 February 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 97,670 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 655 user | 174 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.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 38 wins & 103 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Three Different Women. Each Living a Lie. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

14 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las horas  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$3,246,655 (Japan) (4 July 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Laura (in 1951) picks up Mrs. Dalloway from the floor next to her bed, there are six novels in total. Two of the other books are Melbourne by Lord David Cecil and Under the Net by Dame Iris Murdoch, both published in 1954. See more »


Dan Brown: The thought of this life, that's what kept me going. I had an idea of our happiness.
See more »


Metamorphosis 2
by Philip Glass
Courtesy of Euphorbia Productions, New York, New York
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User Reviews

Three Women
10 January 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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.

40 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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