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The Hours
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Hours More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

shame on the Academy

1/10
Author: Evil_Will_Hunting (brente78@hotmail.com) from Salt Lake City, Utah
17 February 2003

Not that I've ever had much faith in the opinions of the Academy, but they really should be more careful in the movies that they glow over. Despite warnings from many of my loved ones, I saw this film primarily because of the outrageous amount of praise it had received. I don't really see the point in having so many Oscar categories when they end up just using them all to honor the same 5 films. (Did anyone else notice that the 5 best editing nominees are the same as the 5 best picture nominees?) There are so many other great, innovative films and performances (i.e. Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary, Zooey Deschanel in the Good Girl, Sam Rockwell in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) that never or barely even get acknowledged so that the same old players can have their day in the sun. "The Hours" deserves a directing nod perhaps, maybe best actress for Julianne Moore, and probably also something for Philip Glass' score (say what you will--it stood out and enhanced the mood), but otherwise I didn't find the film all that well written, even less entertaining, and in fact, I see little point to its ever having even been made. Yeah, I understand the point--literature living on throughout the generations. I'm a writer myself and that's certainly a goal of the craft. But what's the point of letting your story, or your "song," live on if only to sap the life from all those you touch? It's not nearly as hard to be happy as every character in "The Hours" makes it seem. You just have to be a little less selfish, take a sincere interest in the wellbeing of others, and not dwell on the things that make you depressed. If you've seen "The Hours" and it filled you with hope and life, then good for you. But if you haven't and you're still mulling over whether or not to see it, I'd say there's a pretty fair chance you won't like it either. You're better off spending your "hours" watching something more inspiring like "Adaptation" or "Bowling for Columbine."

P.S. My brother just wanted to add that he also thought this movie sucked.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Stunning Film; Why All the Hate?

10/10
Author: evanston_dad from United States
3 October 2005

I'm really amazed by all of the spiteful, vitriolic insults hurled at this film from other users. Why all the anger? If you don't like the movie because you think it's boring, or because you think nothing happens, or whatever, fine...but there are reviewers who are actually dismissing it because it's "feminist tripe" and because all of the characters are "queer." I also saw the word "dyke" used. Sadly, these people are only helping to make the film's point.

It's funny that people hate this movie for the reason that nothing happens, because I feel that SO much happens. Maybe not in a traditional Hollywood narrative sense, but this isn't a traditional Hollywood narrative, and God bless it for that. It's hard to get your mind around a discussion of "The Hours," because it's about so much. It's about women and women's roles, it's about making choices and regretting those choices, it's about taking control of your life when others have become complacent in theirs, it's about the power of art to change lives, it's about taking care of the people in your life. And reviewers are saying it's about NOTHING? I have to believe that the users who hate this movie the most live the kinds of lives the women in this movie are struggling to fight their ways out of: dull, complacent, bland, satisfied with banalities. These people don't get why Laura Brown might be revolted by the antiseptic sameness of a Los Angeles suburb, where her day consists of making cakes and being bored. She's whiny, they'll say. She has no right to complain because her life's so easy, they'll say. Easy to say indeed when you yourself are living a life constructed for you by the mainstream and haven't once in your life challenged a social norm. I personally know a woman who lives a life very similar to Laura Brown's, and she's suicidal, literally. She loves her little boy, but she's suffocated by a life so lacking in stimulation that there's nothing to get her out of bed every day. And she's not an unfeeling monster.

"The Hours" is a beautiful film that gets everything right, and just may be the best book to screen adaptation I've ever seen. Maybe it would be more difficult to understand if you haven't read the book first---I'll concede that. But I think the movie is virtually flawless as is, and it frustrates me to read comments by so many people who have a total lack of sympathy for characters struggling with their own emotions. Just because you can't understand the emotions at play doesn't mean the work is at fault--try turning an introspective eye on yourself and see how far you get.

Kudos to all of the reviewers here who have seen and praised this film. We can take comfort in the fact that there are still film makers out there who are willing to challenge and exhilarate us.

Grade: A+

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The (Interminable) Hours

6/10
Author: (Lester1Adams@yahoo.com) from United States
8 August 2005

I don't usually do movie criticism, but it has been a long time since I saw a movie that left me with such a sense of torpid despondency and hopelessness as THE HOURS. My friend Michael insisted that I go see this "wonderfully crafted little gem of a movie called THE HOURS that {had} so much to say about the 'human condition'." That should have been my tip off right there. Why is it that a certain strain of intellectual men (and most women) equate depression (as well as other negative emotions such as sadness and grief) with "deep thought" while happiness and uplifting themes (such as the feeling of ecstatic joy one gets from watching the bad guy get what's coming to him in the form of an exploding hand grenade) are equated with air headed frivolity and vulgar pedestrian taste? Their idea of a perfect intellectual conversation seems to be sitting around in a coffee house somewhere in the West Village gazing down into a cup of steaming Kenyan java while complaining to one another about how life has f*$#ed them over; and what beautiful human beings they once were before an unfeeling world crushed them down. Anyway, what follows was my response to an e-mail from Michael asking me how I liked the movie.

Well Michael, thanks to your prodding, I went to see THE HOURS, staring the lovely and talented Nicole Kidman, and co-starring Meryl Streep; and Julianne Moore. After leaving the theater I filled my coat pockets with heavy rocks and began walking zombie like toward the river so despondent was I at the prospect of having to face all of those joyless hours which the movie made me feel certain lay ahead of me in life. Only the quick thinking and fast talking of a kindly stranger saved me from a watery grave. The movie was beautifully photographed in hushed, muted, sepia tones to accentuate and reflect the somber, gloomy, disconsolate and hopeless mood of its main characters. (Wasn't it H.D. Thoreau who once said that behind their facades of genial conviviality most women lead lives of quiet desperation in a huddled mass yearning to breathe free?) The acting was exceptionally good and, at least to me, I found the actresses to be compelling in their portrayals of women overcome with, at best, unremitting ennui; and at worst, soul numbing despair. The movie had all the cheer of a cancer ward on a bleak and rainy New England afternoon in late December.

Notwithstanding all of the movie's many virtues (and there ARE many), I disliked it for the way it made me feel; and am sorry I went to see it. I should have stayed home and played a nice little uplifting game of Freecell on my computer. For some reason I don't like to be depressed or saddened by things, and very much like to stay out of touch with those particular emotions as much as possible. Years of study and experience have led me to conclude that there is every bit as much to be said for the repression of unpleasant emotions as there is to be said for, say, avoiding contact with hot stove tops. I realize how shallow this is, Michael, but I just can't see DELIBERATELY going to view something that is going to make you feel bad. But that's just one man's opinion; and BEING a man, I recognize that there are certain things that I am simply incapable of understanding.

But I DO understand this: On a chick flick scale of one to ten, this movie hits a perfect ten. From a woman's perspective it has everything: unrequited love, love that has died, crying, death, loss, homosexuality, poetry, pernicious diseases (both mental and physical), infidelity and abandonment, manipulation of others, Edwardian settings, turn of the century costumes, the emptiness of life for women in the pore-liberation 1950's, victimized and exploited women, ineffectual and overcompensating men, hand wringing, educated people in touch with their feelings (and those feelings, without exception, all relating to either loss or depression {or both}), sensitive and intelligent women sacrificing their lives for incognizant men who are, for the most part, oblivious of their needs; or, on the flip side, the hollowness of life for over-achieving career women of the 1990's, and on and on and on.

You can bet your boots, Michael, that the next movie I go see is going to have plenty of jet fighters in it as well as machine guns, explosions, hand grenades, chain saws, cyborgs from the future, a plot that can be written on the back of a matchbook cover; and plenty of long legged big titted women! I know, I know. I'm a knuckle dragging philistine who should be horse-whipped out of town.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Even More boring than you might have guessed!

1/10
Author: stevenwsteiner from United States
15 March 2003

Wow was that annoying. Like being forced to switch between three children's television shows continuously . I stood up and walk out after 50 minutes. Three bad stories edited in parallel do not make 1 good story it just makes all three more boring. Production value and direction are superb and the performances

are what you would expect from some of the best in Hollywood, but great actors and beautiful lighting cannot make a boring story interesting.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

a real waste of talent

2/10
Author: harrybeme from United States
22 October 2005

This film, though excellently made and acted was a piece of pseudo intellectual twaddle which served no real purpose and had no real meaning or connection to the real Virginia Woolf or her writing except for the inclusion of several character names and her death. The modern story in no way fit in with anything she ever wrote and the Mrs. Dalloway story occurred early in her career. Also at the time of her death she was nearly sixty years old. I also find the use of aids as a plot supplement to be so overused that it minimalizes the reality of aids. I watched the entire film and could see little reason for Nicole Kidman having won an Oscar. Wearing a prosthesis and appearing depressed,sad, unhappy, etc., etc, etc, does not take a wide range of skill. Actually seeing as how I was neither entertained, moved, or informed by this film I wonder how so many others deemed it as worthy. It seems as if surface depth is enough nowadays to pass for the real thing.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Just terrific

9/10
Author: rbverhoef (rbverhoef@hotmail.com) from The Hague, Netherlands
31 May 2003

'The Hours' is about three stories. The first, set in 1923, is about Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) writing the novel Mrs. Dalloway. The second is set in 1951 and is about Laura (Julianne Moore) reading Mrs. Dalloway. The third is set in 2001 and is about Clarissa (Meryl Streep) living the same life as Mrs. Dalloway. We switch between these stories in one way, but in another way it is one big story told in different times.

The movie has the best ensemble a movie can have: the acting is more than great. Nicole Kidman gives probably the best performance but may be it seems that way because you don't recognize her at all. Not in appearance, not in voice. She won the Academy Award for her Virginia Woolf (after her nomination last year for 'Moulin Rouge!'). Julianne Moore was nominated for her supporting role in this movie, and for another great performance in 'Far from Heaven'. Thirteen time Academy Award nominee Meryl Streep was also nominated but for her part in 'Adaptation', also the same year as this movie. Moore and Streep give terrific performances. Ed Harris as the ex-husband of Clarissa is very good and was also nominated for an Academy Award. Other great parts by John C. Reilly (in the same year he appeared in award winning movies like 'Gangs of New York', 'Chicago', 'The Good Girl' and 'The Hours'), Jeff Daniels, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Dillane and Claire Danes. Not one of them is bad or annoying, they all do the best they can do in this movie.

The acting, together with a great story perfectly edited, a fantastic direction by Stephen Daldry, make-up very well done (see Kidman and later on Moore), some nice photography and beautiful music composed by Philip Glass this is one of those movies you will remember.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Too long, too quiet, too dull and no point

3/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
19 February 2003

Three stories are told: Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) in 1925 writing "Mrs. Dalloway" and how she deals with mental problems; Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) in 1951 Los Angeles--she's reading "Mrs. Dalloway" and is having to deal with an adorable son and loving husband; Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) in 2001 NY planning a party for a friend (Ed Harris) dying of AIDS and her rocky relationship with her lesbian lover (Allison Janney). The point of all these stories? Easy...to win Miramax more Oscars.

This movie is coldly calculated to win awards. Everything looks perfect and completely thought out--there's nothing in here to offend anybody--all the acting is done very quietly and heavy on the emotion and screaming, "Look! We're acting!". The movie also moves very slowly and is very quiet--it's basically a very self-righteous film. All the acting was excellent--especially Streep, Moore and Jack Rovello as Moore's young son--but I could always see they were acting to win. I hated this film.

There's no reason and only the slightest connection between the three stories and the slow pace wore through my patience very quickly. I dozed off at one point! Some people walked out on the movie--I wish I had joined them. Also the movies VERY depressing.

Cold, calculated, depressing, slow--a perfect Oscar winner. Miramax has done it again!

To be avoided at all costs.

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16 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

This movie is below even bottom feeder standards

1/10
Author: cwdfwtx from texas
5 February 2003

I really hated this movie .Besides the constant jarring changes ,switching from one story to another.Seeing Nicole Kidman with such a fake nose on was just excruciating to watch.And the overdone Lesbianism was such a turnoff.DId we have to see an ugly Nicole Kidman kiss her sister in a sexual way ,Julianne Moore kiss another woman and Meryl Streep kiss another woman.YUCK.I wish I could have left 10 minutes in but had to stay because friend drove me to theater.This movie was so depressing and boring,As usual they make the gay men have aids and be fem and look ill.Hollywood is so stereotypical as far as gay roles go,always a queen has to be in it .And when they do put a Tom Selleck in a gay movie(IN and OUT) they make it straight friendly with a lame kiss and tom sans moustache. This movie was boring the acting dull which means it probably will win an oscar for something. Utterly stupid and a waste of time .If you like this movie you must be on something.

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Too cold

5/10
Author: CarlosERM from Venezuela
26 July 2015

My rating: 5.0/10

My opinion on the film:

This may be my literary ignorance about Virginia Woolf and her work speaking but The Hours left me very disappointed and I'd dare to say that it is an overrated film. None of the three main characters was as compelling as they should have been, though the 1951 Los Angeles story, that featured Julianne Moore in a first-rate performance, was the only one from the three that caught my interest and attention. The Virginia Woolf segment seemed to me pretty dull and the New York segment had some interesting bits but some parts were too repetitive and seemed to go nowhere.

In fact, Moore was in my opinion the best of the cast and while Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep were good as well, I found more memorable the smaller roles of Ed Harris, Toni Collette and Jeff Daniels.

The music was excellent, that was another thing I enjoyed from it but overall I thought it was too cold and lacked depth in the development of the characters, which made it uninteresting.

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Intriguing and innovative adaptation of the famous novel

9/10
Author: ItsNotJust-a-flick
8 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an excellent example of how the great and authentic adaptation of a famous novel should look like. The film consists of three different but firmly connected stories.

In the first story Virginia Woolf is a sick writer in the 19 century and her husband sustains her. She is writing the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" about a woman that has completely different life and is the one who sustains a male sick writer. One day in life of Mrs. Dalloway, exactly as it is depicted in the novel, is presented in the third story of the film, which is set in the 21 century. Clarissa Vaughan is giving her best to organize a party for her ill friend Richard, but he is depressive and understands he is the obstacle for the happiness of Clarissa. He knows that from the experience of his mother (Larisa Brown), so he decides to go and let his dear friend live. Virginia, from the first story, knows that, too. She realizes that fact while composing the novel and is aware she is the one that has to go.

In the second story set in 1950s, there is a portrayal of a woman, Larisa Brown, who struggles to find her own path in the society full of social stigmas (especially concerning women). She is reading the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" which she sees as the possible solution for her life. She is unstable and frustrated, always trying to have some sort of control in the situations in which it seems she has no control at all. Her friend and neighbor is completely different character, but also has her own struggles in men dominated world and wants to at least have an illusion of control. 'I want to drive the car myself', are her words that illustrate the point. That stigma of Laura's family life has to die, or else she has to die. She chooses to live and abandons her family for good.

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