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The Hours
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The Hours (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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The Hours -- 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.
The Hours -- 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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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Michael Cunningham (novel)
David Hare (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Hours on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 2003 (USA) See more »
Three Different Women. Each Living a Lie. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 58 wins & 103 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Some Random Thoughts from a Twisted Mind See more (660 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Nicole Kidman ... Virginia Woolf

Julianne Moore ... Laura Brown

Meryl Streep ... Clarissa Vaughan

Stephen Dillane ... Leonard Woolf

Miranda Richardson ... Vanessa Bell
George Loftus ... Quentin Bell
Charley Ramm ... Julian Bell
Sophie Wyburd ... Angelica Bell

Lyndsey Marshal ... Lottie Hope (as Lyndsay Marshal)

Linda Bassett ... Nelly Boxall

Christian Coulson ... Ralph Partridge

Michael Culkin ... Doctor

John C. Reilly ... Dan Brown

Jack Rovello ... Richie

Toni Collette ... Kitty

Margo Martindale ... Mrs. Latch

Colin Stinton ... Hotel Clerk

Ed Harris ... Richard Brown

Allison Janney ... Sally Lester

Claire Danes ... Julia Vaughan

Jeff Daniels ... Louis Waters

Eileen Atkins ... Barbara in the Flower Shop
Carmen De Lavallade ... Clarissa's Neighbor

Daniel Brocklebank ... Rodney in Flower Shop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron Boyum ... Young Richard Brown (uncredited)

Michael Cunningham ... Man Outside Flower Shop (uncredited)

Johnathan Hodges ... Mover (uncredited)

Kate Super ... Young Clarissa Vaughan (uncredited)

Directed by
Stephen Daldry 
Writing credits
Michael Cunningham (novel)

David Hare (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael Alden .... associate producer
Robert Fox .... producer
Mark Huffam .... executive producer
Ian MacNeil .... associate producer
Scott Rudin .... producer
Marieke Spencer .... associate producer
Original Music by
Philip Glass 
Cinematography by
Seamus McGarvey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Peter Boyle 
Casting by
Patsy Pollock 
Daniel Swee 
Production Design by
Maria Djurkovic 
Art Direction by
Nick Palmer 
Mark Raggett (supervising art director)
Judy Rhee (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Philippa Hart 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Jo Allen .... prosthetics makeup designer
Sarah Astley .... hair assistant
Sarah Astley .... makeup assistant
Caridad 'Cuqui' Collazo .... key hair stylist
Stuart Conran .... prosthetic technician
Nuala Conway .... hair assistant
Nuala Conway .... makeup assistant
Alan D'Angerio .... hair stylist: Ms. Moore
Gretchen Davis .... makeup department head
Paul Engelen .... makeup artist: Ms. Kidman
Richard Glass .... contact lens optician
Paul Gooch .... hair assistant
Paul Gooch .... makeup assistant
J. Roy Helland .... hair stylist: Ms. Streep
J. Roy Helland .... makeup artist: Ms. Streep
Chris Lyons .... special effects teeth
Robert Mrazik .... hair stylist
Conor O'Sullivan .... prosthetics makeup designer
Elaine L. Offers .... makeup artist: Ms. Moore (as Elaine Offers)
Peter Owen .... wigs
Lisa Patnoe .... makeup artist
Eva Polywka .... key makeup artist: USA
Ivana Primorac .... hair styles supervisor
Ivana Primorac .... makeup designer
Ivana Primorac .... makeup supervisor
Peggy Schierholz .... key hair stylist: USA (as Peg Schierholz)
Robin Schoonraad .... prosthetic technician
Jemma Scott-Knox-Gore .... contact lens technician
Edward St. George .... hair stylist: Ms. Moore
Kerry Warn .... hair stylist: Ms. Kidman
Jay Cannistraci .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Chris Fitzgerald .... sculptor (uncredited)
Duncan Jarman .... prosthetics assistant (uncredited)
Production Management
James Bigwood .... unit production manager: USA
Jo Burn .... unit production manager
Michael Dreyer .... unit production manager
Gary Pickering .... unit manager
James Rickard .... unit manager
Cherry Brewer .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenny Bates .... second unit director: USA (as Ken Bates)
Stephen Lee Davis .... first assistant director: USA
Martin Harrison .... first assistant director
Nick Heckstall-Smith .... first assistant director
Ben Howard .... third assistant director
Cary Jones .... dga trainee
Kellie JoTackett .... second assistant director: USA
Peggy Robinson .... second second assistant director: USA (as Peggy Jean Robinson)
Jennifer Truelove .... second assistant director: USA
George Walker .... second assistant director
Simon Emanuel .... crowd second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Martin Asbury .... storyboard artist
Alan Bailey .... property master
Alan Briant .... dressing props (as Alan David Briant)
Alan Chesters .... construction manager
Leigh Chesters .... on-set carpenter
Jane Clark .... storyboard artist (as Jane Clarke)
Ben Conable .... art department coordinator: USA (as Benjamin Conable)
Mike Cuddy .... props storeperson
Mark Dane .... lead person: USA
Guido DeCurtis .... lead person: USA
Judy Ducker .... production buyer
Martin Duffy .... chargehand carpenter
Rod England .... key set dresser
Terry Ennis .... props
Danny Evans .... dressing props
Douglas Fecht .... set dresser: USA
Dave Fisher .... chargehand props (as David Fisher)
Richard Fojo .... assistant art director: USA
Joanna Foley .... on-set art director
Charles Guanci Jr. .... property master: USA
Michael Gunner .... chief painter
James Harris .... construction foreperson: USA
Carol Heller .... assistant greens
Ron Higgins .... chargehand dresser
Jason Hopperton .... dressing props
John Jackson .... construction coordinator: USA (as John C. Jackson)
Al Johnson .... storyboard artist: USA
David Ned Kelly .... chief carpenter (as David 'Ned' Kelly)
Robert Kopp .... greensman: USA
Richard E. Kruder .... set dresser: USA (as Richard Kruder)
Andrew Lassman .... property master: USA (as Andy Lassman)
Emily Lutyens .... art department assistant
Alexa Marino .... art department coordinator: USA
Tony Marks .... carpenter
Daniel May .... draftsperson
Michael Metzel .... construction coordinator: USA
John Nyomarkay .... assistant art director: USA
Barbara Peterson-Malesci .... set decorator: USA (as Barbara Peterson)
Stelios Polychronakis .... assistant art director
Judy Rhee .... art director - u.s.
Judy Rhee .... art director: USA
Stuart Sewell .... sculptor
Dave Thompson .... painter (as David Thompson)
Frank A. Torres .... set dresser: USA (as Francisco Torres)
Paul Weathered .... assistant property master: USA
Michael Webb .... chief stagehand
Greg Winter .... assistant scenic artist
Ben Wolcott .... set dresser: USA (as J. Benjamin Wolcott)
Harriet Zucker .... set decorator: USA (as Harriet S. Zucker)
Julia Barraclough .... charge scenic: New York (uncredited)
David Packard .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Celia Parker .... camera scenic artist (uncredited)
Nicholas Scott .... scenic artist: Florida (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary Alper .... sound mixer: USA
Ricky Butt .... foley artist (as Ricki Butts)
John Casali .... boom operator
Kevin Cerchiai .... cable person: USA
David Crozier .... production sound mixer
Adam Daniel .... re-recording mixer
Graham Daniel .... re-recording mixer
Tony Dawe .... sound mixer
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer
Richard Fettes .... sound editor
Matt Grimes .... sound effects editor
Ken Hahn .... re-recording mixer
James Harris .... third man sound
Nina Hartstone .... dialogue editor
Robert Ireland .... adr editor
Andy Kennedy .... sound effects editor (as Andrew Kennedy)
Jed Loughran .... assistant sound editor
Conor Mackey .... assistant sound editor
Claire Mahoney .... foley artist (as Clare Mahoney)
Grant Maxwell .... re-recording mixer
Mario McNulty .... sound recordist
Ray Merrin .... re-recording mixer
Julian Pinn .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby Stereo
Michael Redfern .... foley editor
Jacob Ribicoff .... associate supervising sound editor
Lyle Scott-Darling .... re-recording assistant
Warren Shaw .... supervising sound editor
Richard Street .... re-recording mixer
Marc-Jon Sullivan .... boom operator: USA
Daniel Ward .... assistant sound editor
John Warhurst .... assistant sound editor
Warren A. Weberg .... utility sound: New York
Robin Whittaker .... assistant sound editor (as Robin Quinn)
Campbell Askew .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
James Boyle .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Andrew Caller .... adr assistant (uncredited)
Paul Carr .... adr recording: UK (uncredited)
Paul Conway .... adr editor (uncredited)
Paul Conway .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Phillip Fuller .... sound mix technician (uncredited)
Peter Gleaves .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Gerard Loret .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Michael Miller .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Stuart Morton .... sound editor (uncredited)
James David Redding III .... sound technician (uncredited)
Eric Strausser .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Ruth Sullivan .... foley artist (uncredited)
Derek Trigg .... foley editor (uncredited)
Akil Wilson .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Stuart Brisdon .... special effects supervisor
Paul Clancy .... special effects senior technician
Mark Haddenham .... special effects senior technician
Jim Lillis .... special effects coordinator: USA
Tony Moore .... special effects diving rigger: USA
Charlie Muspratt .... special effects rigger: USA
Andrew *Starman* Pearce .... special effects technician
Jody Taylor .... special effects technician
John Weller .... special effects supervising rigger: USA
Malcolm Wilson .... special effects rigger: USA
Steve Knowles .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Richard Briscoe .... visual effects supervisor: Double Negative
Matthew Plummer .... visual effects producer: Double Negative
Ciaran Crowley .... digital artist (uncredited)
Pete Hanson .... studio manager: Double Negative (uncredited)
Adam Howarth .... animatronics (uncredited)
Alex Ireland .... scanning & recording (uncredited)
Yoko Ishiguro .... digital artist (uncredited)
Jody Johnson .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Andrew Lockley .... digital compositor: Double Negative (uncredited)
John Moffatt .... digital compositor: Double Negative (uncredited)
Paul Riddle .... digital compositor: Double Negative (uncredited)
Matthew Shaw .... video editorial (uncredited)
Tammo van Hoorn .... clapper loader: visual effects unit (uncredited)
Sheila Wickens .... digital compositor: Double Negative (uncredited)
Danny Aiello III .... stunts
Jay Amor .... stunts
Dara Amos .... stunts
Hank Amos .... stunts
Chick Bernhard .... stunts (as Chick Bernhardt)
Richard Bradshaw .... stunt coordinator
John Copeman .... stunts
John Evanko .... stunts
Tim Gallin .... stunts
Jery Hewitt .... stunt coordinator
Jay Krueger .... stunts (as Jay Kruger)
Bean Peel .... stunts (as Lucinda Peel)
Andreas Petrides .... stunt coordinator
Gary Powell .... stunts
Nick Powell .... stunt coordinator
Lee Sheward .... stunt coordinator
Glenn R. Wilder .... stunts (as Glenn Wilder)
Richard Bradshaw .... stunts (uncredited)
Dara Fischetti .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eli Aronoff .... second assistant camera: additional camera
Jason Barfield .... electrician: USA
Monica Barronton .... film loader: additional
Peter Batten .... focus puller (as Pete Batten)
John Bowman .... video assist operator
Roy Branch .... assistant chief lighting technician
Julian Bucknall .... focus puller: "a" camera, main unit
Glynis Burke .... electrician: USA
Tony Burns .... electrician
Jack Coffen .... electrician: USA (as John Coffen)
Clive Coote .... still photographer
Carlos De Carvalho .... focus puller
James P. Dolan .... chief lighting technician: USA
John Dolan .... first company grip: USA (as John P. Dolan)
Steve Drellich .... camera operator: USA (as Steven Drellich)
Martin Duffy .... grip
François Duhamel .... still photographer: USA
Kevin Edland .... rigging electrician
Stanley Fernandez Jr. .... second assistant camera: USA
Toby Flesher .... electrician
John Freeman .... video assistant
Alan Grayley .... rigging electrician
James J. Green .... dolly grip: USA (as James L. Green)
Eugene Grobler .... electrician
Paul Harris .... electrician
John Higgins .... chief lighting technician
Robert Hooker .... grip
Larry Huston .... Steadicam operator: USA
Larry Huston .... first assistant camera: USA
Gary Hutchings .... first company grip
Mark Hutton .... rigging electrician
John Gregory Kasper .... first company grip: USA
James Knox .... assistant chief rigging electrician
Paul Krumper .... first assistant camera: "b" camera, USA
Adam Lee .... electrician
Marvin Lee .... second assistant camera: "b" camera, USA
Vince Madden .... rigging electrician
Sean Malone .... grip: USA
Stephen Mathie .... electrician
Larry McConkey .... Steadicam operator: USA
Peter McEntyre .... assistant chief lighting technician: USA
Mike McGowan .... Steadicam operator: USA (as Michael P. McGowan)
Terry Meadows .... grip (as Terence Meadows)
Neil Munro .... rigging electrician
Michael Oates .... dolly grip: USA (as Mike Oates)
Jennie Paddon .... film loader (as Jennifer Paddon)
Ricky Pattenden .... electrician
Steve Pattenden .... electrician
Brian Pickett .... assistant chief rigging electrician
John Robertson .... chief rigging electrician
Agnes Rodriguez .... film loader: USA
Barry Ryan .... electrician: USA (as Barry J. Ryan)
Gary Ryan .... assistant chief lighting technician: USA
Daniel Salk .... video assist: USA
Anthony Savini .... film loader: USA
John Schwartz .... first assistant camera
Steven Search .... first assistant camera: USA (as Steven D. Search)
Paul Sharp .... electrician
Gary Shlifer .... camera operator: USA
Philip Sindall .... camera operator
Anthony Burgess Steinberg .... electrician
Paul Stewart .... rigging electrician (as Paul William Stewart)
Mike Valentine .... underwater camera operator: USA
Rory Walsh .... second company grip: USA
Gavin Walters .... assistant chief lighting technician: USA
Lee Walters .... chief lighting technician
Brian L. Williams .... first assistant camera: "b" camera, USA (as Brian Williams)
Sophie Wilson .... film loader
Anthony Zibelli .... second assistant camera: "b" camera, USA (as Anthony P. Zibelli)
Kurt Beckler .... grip (uncredited)
Jamie Klein .... grip: Florida (uncredited)
Dean Morrish .... underwater first assistant camera (uncredited)
Peter Myslowski .... camera grip: dailies (uncredited)
Mark Schmidt .... assistant camera: "b" camera, New York (uncredited)
Martyn Welland .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Shaheen Baig .... casting associate: U.K.
Heather Baird .... casting associate: USA
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Barbara Fiorentino .... casting associate: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Michele Waldfogel .... extras casting assistant: UK (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lynette Bernay .... set costumer: USA
Valerie Fusaro .... set costumer: USA
Sue Gandy .... assistant costume designer
Jenny Hawkins .... wardrobe assistant
Iris Horta Lemos .... wardrobe supervisor: USA (as Iris H. Lemos)
Ellen Mahlke .... wardrobe supervisor: USA
Michelle Matland .... assistant costume designer
Suzanne Pettit .... costumer: USA
Lindsay Pugh .... costume supervisor
Susan Salzano .... set costumer: USA (as Sue Salzano)
Mark Sutherland .... wardrobe master
Crystal Thompson .... costume shopper
Justine Warhurst .... wardrobe assistant
Lucy Denny .... costumes (uncredited)
Tom Hornsby .... daily wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Stefna Borges .... negative cutter: USA
Stephen Boucher .... first assistant editor
Julius Gladwell .... assistant editor: avid
Lori Machens .... post-production coordinator
Steve Maguire .... assistant editor (as Stephen Maguire)
Bryan McMahan .... colorist: mastering
Sarah Ogletree .... post-production coordinator
David Rees .... color timer: USA
Geraint Huw Reynolds .... assistant editor
Ruth Coulson .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Simon Harris .... assistant editor: Synxspeed (uncredited)
William Parnell .... dailies editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Allison Dillard .... location assistant
Rita Duffey .... location assistant
Elizabeth Elwell .... location manager: USA (as Elizabeth A. Elwell)
Sarah Lee .... location manager
Sherrill Mann .... assistant location manager: USA
Angus More Gordon .... location manager
Joaquin Diego Prange .... assistant location manager: USA (as Joaquin D. Prange)
Jennifer Radzikowski .... assistant location manager
Sherrill Smith .... assistant location manager
Pat Sones .... location manager: USA (as Patricia Weber Sones)
Danielle J. Baker .... location production assistant: Florida (uncredited)
Jody Hummer .... location scout (uncredited)
David M. McGuire .... location assistant: New York (uncredited)
Music Department
Jonathan Allen .... music mixer
Jonathan Allen .... music recordist
David Arch .... musician: piano
Mark Berrow .... musician: violin
John Bradbury .... orchestra leader
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Nick Ingman .... conductor
Tony Lewis .... music editor
Nico Muhly .... music score coordinator
Kurt Munkacsi .... original soundtrack producer
Michael Riesman .... original soundtrack producer
Bruce White .... viola
Owen Bartholomew .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Denise Carver .... music clearances (uncredited)
Simon Changer .... score assistant engineer (uncredited)
Paul Kegg .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Dashiell Rae .... music editor: temp music (uncredited)
Randy Spendlove .... executive in charge of music (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Phil Allchin .... transportation captain
Mike Easter .... transportation co-captain
William K. Gaskins .... transportation captain: USA
Vince Pecora .... transportation captain: USA (as Vincent R. Pecora)
Don Abbatiello .... picture car coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Kweku Abdullah .... production assistant: USA
Vicki Allen .... floor runner
Joane Baptiste .... assistant production coordinator: USA
Josef Brandmaier .... structured finance
Debbie Brodie .... food stylist
Sarah Clark .... unit publicist
Melanie Claus .... production coordinator (as Mel Claus)
Patrick Corcoran .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Chris Cussen .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Rita Duffey .... site location assistant: Miami unit
Tina Ellis .... assistant auditor
Sandra Frieze .... dialogue coach
Jacqui Green .... tutor
Andy Hennigan .... production auditor
Joe Holden .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as J.A.Holden)
Marc H. Katz .... craft service
Elayne Keratsis .... production coordinator: USA
Lars Knudsen .... executive assistant: Mr. Rudin
Pati Lauren .... body double & stand-in: julianne moore
Ben LeClair .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Susie Lewis .... assistant: Mr. Fox
M.J. Magbanua .... production coordinator: USA
Rhys Maitland-Jones .... sync rushes
Mack McKelvey .... craft service
Victoria Morgan .... assistant production coordinator
Virginia Murray .... production coordinator
Clarissa Newman .... assistant: Mr. Huffam
Charley Parlapanides .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as Charles Parlapanides)
John Rickard .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Lori M. Roberts .... financial representative: Paramount Pictures (as Lori Roberts)
Lucas Stein .... production assistant
Imogen Stringer .... assistant production coordinator
Jeannie Udall .... medic (as Jeanie Udall)
Kevin J. Walsh .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as Kevin Walsh)
Simi Wein .... assistant production coordinator: USA
Angela Wharton .... script supervisor (as Angela Noakes-Wharton)
Beverly Wood .... laboratory consultant: USA
Josué D. Aguilar .... on-set production assistant (uncredited)
Victoria Allen .... floor runner (uncredited)
Freya Archard .... stand-in (uncredited)
Joanna Bates .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Nic Benns .... title designer (uncredited)
Ashlee Burnette .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (uncredited)
Victoria Cervantes .... set production assistant: Florida (uncredited)
Jan Cosby .... first assistant accountant (uncredited)
Steve Dale .... production assistant: Miami (uncredited)
Melissa Marie Davis .... production assistant (uncredited)
Harold De Jesus .... artist: main titles (uncredited)
Stan Eutsey .... production assistant: Miami (uncredited)
David Greenbaum .... executive assistant: Harvey Weinstein (uncredited)
Joshua C. Hersko .... assistant: Scott Rudin (uncredited)
Sammy Horton .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Nicholas Owen Langholff .... key set production assistant: second unit, New York (uncredited)
Josh Liveright .... payroll accountant: USA (uncredited)
Justin Marx .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Becky Maxwell .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Catherine Middleton .... accounting assistant (uncredited)
Steve Morphew .... stand-in: Stephen Dillane (uncredited)
Claire Peberdy .... production assistant (uncredited)
Christina Rice .... assistant: Julianne Moore (uncredited)
Eric Ian Robinson .... assistant: Harvey Weinstein (uncredited)
Will Rowbotham .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (uncredited)
Roy Samuelson .... additional voices (uncredited)
Emily Sklar .... assistant: Meryl Streep (uncredited)
Marcel Valcarce .... artist: main title (uncredited)
Daniel Villagomez .... credits administrator (uncredited)
Michael Cunningham .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some disturbing images and brief language
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Argentina:18 (cable rating) | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG | Chile:14 | Denmark:11 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-15 | Germany:12 (bw) | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:12 | Malaysia:U (cut) | Netherlands:AL | New Zealand:M | Norway:11 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:M18 (DVD rating) | Singapore:PG (cut) | South Korea:12 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Bern) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:14 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #39136)

Did You Know?

Meryl Streep is actually mentioned in the original novel on which the film is based.See more »
Continuity: Clarissa's scarf and necklace when she is packing up the garbage in Richard's apartment.See more »
[first lines]
Virginia Woolf:[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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Paddington (2014)See more »
Beim SchlafengehenSee more »


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190 out of 225 people found the following review useful.
Some Random Thoughts from a Twisted Mind, 9 June 2005
Author: aimless-46 from Kentucky

"The Hours" more than lives up to its critical praise. If nothing else it is a must see for the originality of the technique. The film (and the book by Michael Cunningham) is structured around the process of linking up three stories set at different points in time. Each story concerns a woman trying to define herself, to identify what she needs, and to find a way to get it.

The 1920's story concerns Virginia Woolf's (Kidman) efforts to write her first successful novel, "Mrs. Dallaway"; which is the story of one day in the life of a woman named Clarissa Dallaway. The story set in the early 1950's concerns Laura Brown (Moore), a woman who is reading "Mrs. Dallaway". Finally the contemporary story concerns Clarissa Vaughn (Streep) who is essentially living Mrs. Dallaway's life in modern NYC. All three performances are extraordinary in their own unique ways and there are wonderful performances from all members of the supporting cast. It is as if each member of the ensemble brought out the best in each other.

Some interesting and not always obvious things to look for as you watch "The Hours" are:

Each story begins with the husband/lover of each woman leading the camera to the woman. All three women are found in bed and this begins a match cut process that will repeat itself throughout the film as the director and editor work to connect and unify the three separate stories. Woolf writes: "Mrs. Dallaway said she would buy the flowers herself" just as Laura Brown reads that sentence and Clarissa speaks that sentence.

Kidman's Woolf is an amazing character. She is a psychological mess, making life difficult for those around her and full of torment and despair. Yet she has a subtle charm that helps you to understand why people found her fascinating.

Like "The Big Chill", this is an ambitious character study film with many characters. By necessity, both films rely more on behavioral language than dialogue in revealing the personality of its characters. Note Laura Brown's (Moore) neatness obsession as she readies her house and herself prior to leaving for the hotel.

Woolf began the book "Mrs. Dallaway" with the intention of basing it on a society woman she knew who unexpectedly committed suicide. Brown describes the book to her neighbor as: "Oh, it's about this woman who's incredibly - well, she's a hostess and she's incredibly confident and she's going to give a party. And, maybe because she's confident, everyone thinks she's fine... but she isn't".

At its core this is a movie about art but it is a broad definition of art, writing a book-baking a cake-giving a party. Each woman/artist is driven and frustrated by a need for unattainable perfection. There is a touch of irony to each situation. For example, Laura Brown is where she is because her husband has pulled her into the great American dream without realizing that it was the worse thing he could do to her. Although all three women love their children/child/niece, those relationships do not give them what they need.

There is a visitor and a kiss in each story central to the self-definition process each woman is going through. Virginia kisses her sister Vanessa (brilliantly played by Miranda Richardson who looks amazingly like she could have been Kidman's sister), desperately trying to force a better connection with her. Vanessa understands this, she is not shocked by the kiss but by the implication that her sister needs this so desperately.

Sophie Wyburd who plays Virginia's young niece was obviously cast for her haunting voice and her ability to display such a focused intensity. Each woman has a child picking up on their needs, which the adults around them do not seem to be aware of.

Watch the scene where Laura's husband is urging her to come to bed. Moore's voice does not betray the revulsion or the internal struggle which only viewers can see on her face. In fact at this point each woman's partner is urging her to go to bed but each must first a make choice. Then watch for the great match cut, Virginia announces that she has decided that the poet will die in her novel and they cut to little Richard lying in his bed. Moore's expression finally tells us that she has decided to leave her family. Streep's kiss signifies her recognition of the preciousness of what she still has in her life and her choice to embrace it and move forward.

Ultimately this film is about the increasing difficulty we have as we get older in making choices. This is because as we discover who we are, we also experience loss and accumulate grief over the course of our lives, making us ever more aware of the cost of our choices. Like the Moonlight Graham character in "Field of Dreams" (who assumed he would have more than one major league at bat), Clarissa looks back on a short moment that she thought was the beginning of happiness and realizes that it was her only moment of actual happiness.

There are some criticisms of this film. That it is not political enough but rather is for the elite and about the elite, or conversely that it is condescending to the masses with too obvious a message told in an unnecessarily simplistic way, and finally that it is a success of structure rather than ideas. Whatever the validity of these issues, the very fact that discussions are at this elevated level is the best testimonial the film could have. My only criticism was a production design issue, young Richard gets his Lincoln logs out of a Erector Set box.

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