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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.


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Up 8% 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 47 wins & 86 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
compelling tale of depression See more (648 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Meryl Streep ... Clarissa Vaughan

Julianne Moore ... Laura Brown

Nicole Kidman ... Virginia Woolf

Ed Harris ... Richard Brown

Toni Collette ... Kitty

Claire Danes ... Julia Vaughan

Jeff Daniels ... Louis Waters

Stephen Dillane ... Leonard Woolf

Allison Janney ... Sally Lester

John C. Reilly ... Dan Brown

Miranda Richardson ... Vanessa Bell

Eileen Atkins ... Barbara in Flower Shop

Margo Martindale ... Mrs. Latch

Linda Bassett ... Nelly Boxall
George Loftus ... Quentin Bell
Charley Ramm ... Julian Bell
Sophie Wyburd ... Angelica Bell

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

Christian Coulson ... Ralph Partridge

Michael Culkin ... Doctor

Jack Rovello ... Richie Brown

Colin Stinton ... Hotel Clerk
Carmen De Lavallade ... Clarissa's Neighbor

Daniel Brocklebank ... Rodney in Flower Shop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

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
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
Conor O'Sullivan .... prosthetics makeup designer
Elaine L. Offers .... makeup artist: Ms. Moore (as Elaine Offers)
Peter Owen .... wigs
Eva Polywka .... key makeup artist: USA
Ivana Primorac .... hair styles supervisor
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: 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 .... sound re-recording mixer
Graham Daniel .... sound re-recording mixer
Tony Dawe .... sound mixer
Lee Dichter .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Fettes .... sound editor
Matt Grimes .... sound effects editor
Ken Hahn .... sound 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 .... sound re-recording mixer
Mario McNulty .... sound recordist
Ray Merrin .... sound 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 .... sound 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)
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
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 Bernhardt .... stunts
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
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)
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)
Music Department
Jonathan Allen .... music mixer
Jonathan Allen .... music recordist
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
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
Allison Dillard .... location assistant
Rita Duffey .... location assistant
Rita Duffey .... site location assistant: Miami unit
Tina Ellis .... assistant auditor
Elizabeth Elwell .... location manager: USA (as Elizabeth A. Elwell)
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
Sarah Lee .... location manager
Susie Lewis .... assistant: Mr. Fox
M.J. Magbanua .... production coordinator: USA
Rhys Maitland-Jones .... sync rushes
Sherrill Mann .... assistant location manager: USA
Mack McKelvey .... craft service
Angus More Gordon .... location manager
Victoria Morgan .... assistant production coordinator
Virginia Murray .... production coordinator
Clarissa Newman .... assistant: Mr. Huffam
Charley Parlapanides .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as Charles Parlapanides)
Joaquin Diego Prange .... assistant location manager: USA (as Joaquin D. Prange)
Jennifer Radzikowski .... assistant location manager
John Rickard .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Lori M. Roberts .... financial representative: Paramount Pictures (as Lori Roberts)
Sherrill Smith .... assistant location manager
Pat Sones .... location manager: USA (as Patricia Weber Sones)
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
Josue Aguilar .... on-set production assistant (uncredited)
Victoria Allen .... floor runner (uncredited)
Freya Archard .... stand-in (uncredited)
Danielle J. Baker .... location production assistant: Florida (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)
Jody Hummer .... location scout (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)
David M. McGuire .... location assistant: New York (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 | 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?

The role of Laura Brown was originally intended for Emily Watson.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Clarissa Vaughn:I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.See more »
Movie Connections:
Beim SchlafengehenSee more »


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167 out of 206 people found the following review useful.
compelling tale of depression, 27 January 2003
Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States

The first thing that may strike you about `The Hours' is that this film features more major characters who are gay, or at least bisexual, than any mainstream movie I can think of. Based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, this is the powerful story of three women from three different time periods who have one thing in common: they are all leading lives filled with depression, despondency and despair, not because they are gay, mind you, but because they are human.

First there is the famous early 20th Century author Virginia Woolf (played by Nicole Kidman), who is doing daily battle with her own mental illness, a disease that is slowly destroying her own life and the lives of those around her. The story picks up her life at the time right after she has been released from an institution and been sent to spend a quiet, uneventful and restful time convalescing in the country with her husband. It is here that she begins writing her famous novel `Mrs. Dalloway,' an introspective tale of a woman who comes to realize that her well-ordered life is really just a collection of meaningless routines meaninglessly performed. This novel serves as the glue that binds together the three women of the story as they, too, come to see their own lives in this way. Julianne Moore is Laura Brown, a housewife living in the 1950's, who finds her domestic existence to be as much a prison as Virginia Woolf finds her life in the secluded countryside. Despite the fact that she has a husband and a child who clearly adore her, Laura struggles with the fact that she is unable to find the fulfillment she seeks out of life in the role of wife and mother which society has decreed for her. This leads her to a feeling of perpetual ennui and depression and even to the notion of ending it all through suicide (suicide is, in fact one of the major motifs of the work). This role provides an interesting counterpoint to Moore's character in `Far From Heaven.' In both films she is a woman attempting to cope with the stifling nature of life for a typical housewife in the 1950's, yet in the other film, SHE is the one devastated to discover that her husband is a closet homosexual, while, in this film, she herself is the one harboring secret lesbian feelings. This, of course, strengthens the parallels with Virginia Woolf, since she too had love affairs with women. The third character is a contemporary woman played by Meryl Streep. Like the fictional character Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa Vaughn is a woman whose life appears to others to be well ordered and fulfilling, yet she realizes that it is really a life built around meaningless triviality. Clarissa has a lesbian partner of ten years, yet the spark of love between them seems to have gone out. Clarissa spends most of her time regretting the loss of her one true love, the troubled poet, Richard Brown (Ed Harris), a gay man struggling with the final stages of AIDS, who wants nothing more than to rant against the injustice of his fate.

Cunningham's story is, obviously, a symphony of despair. In fact, I haven't seen this many depressed people in one film since Ingmar Bergman passed from the filmmaking scene some twenty odd years ago. Yet, `The Hours' isn't really a depressing film because the artistry used to tell the tale elevates it to the realm of poetry. David Hare's screenplay does a beautiful job weaving in and out of the three different time periods, finding effective transitions that link the various women and their situations. Director Stephen Daldry establishes a lyrical, melancholic mood that draws us into this world of sadness and regret. He also, of course, has a veritable who's who of some of the world's top film actors to work with here. Nicole Kidman gives a beautifully controlled, heartbreaking performance as the troubled Ms. Woolf, conveying a veritable cauldron of seething inner emotions through a strangely unchanging, passive and emotionless exterior. Her work here is a model of restraint and discipline, especially given the fact that many other actresses might have used this showy role as an opportunity to `go all out' in a display of thespian overkill. Julianne Moore does the same with her role, also underplaying the emotions her character is experiencing, the better to highlight the sense of stultifying confinement she finds in her life. Streep is allowed a little more leeway in the sense that she alone gets to emote at a higher level, actually raging against the demons that haunt her (as, perhaps, befits a woman living in the 21st Century). Ed Harris does a superb job getting to the core of his character as well. He doesn't have much actual time on screen, but he makes his scenes count for all they're worth.

`The Hours' is, obviously, a movie made for a specialized audience, one not easily scared off by a film with powerful themes and complex characters. In this epic of angst, three superb actresses end up taking us on a journey deep into the darkest recesses of the human soul - a journey that would be pretty much unbearable if they themselves were not there to guide us through it.

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