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Without reservation, "The Hours" is an excellent film interpretation of an equally excellent book. Perhaps because the story jumps around some, it works even better as a film. I don't see how the acting could have been improved. Nicole Kidman is astounding! Glen Close and Julienne Moore are wonderful. Ed Harris in his small role, well I've always thought he is a great actor, is great. I doubt there's ever been a more gracefully surprising defenestration in any movie before or since this. Not only does Nicole Kidman manage to look not like Nicole Kidman, she delivers 100% in a difficult role of a difficult, tortured, brilliant woman. "The Hours" is an important book and an important movie. I am delighted and grateful to know a lot more about this tragic, important writer. If this movie helped to ensure her the proper honors she deserves in the history of literature, (I imagine it will) I am grateful. I
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's a film that creates a profound impact, for the excellent performance of the three female characters but especially because of the subjects treated, all associated with the great work of Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway" written in 1923, and that greatly influenced twentieth-century literature with their concepts of modernism and the idea that any situation, including the inner thoughts of a person are worthy of a novel. The dilemma of suicide, clashes between the inner thoughts and the people around us, to live life for one or the other, lesbianism, are some of the main arguments that leave a deep feeling. It is recommended to read Woolf's work prior to watch the film, to understand even better the challenges and smart partnerships developed by writer and director in three women with their families and friends, who live three different periods of the twentieth century, but which have as a common denominator, ideas, thoughts and anxieties of Mrs. Dalloway. Worth watching
This film tells the parallel stories of three women in different eras who are connected by a common thread. The stories are not without interest, but the interweaving among them really does not allow the viewer to become engaged with the characters and neither does it allow for character development. We see the angst of the women but gain only a superficial understanding of the demons within them. The three stars are equally good, although it is Kidman's nose that won the Oscar for Best Actress. The supporting cast has many familiar faces and they generally comport themselves well, although the roles are too restricted for anyone to shine. Harris goes a bit overboard with his heavy handed portrayal of writer suffering from AIDS.
WARNING: This is an intensely depressing film and should not be seen by
kids or the severely depressed. Additionally, if you just can't handle
an unrelentingly dark and somber film, then you might want to look
"The Hours" is a very unusual film in that there completely separate but parallel stories that are interwoven throughout. While "Julie and Julia" did this with two, "The Hours" manages to do it with the lives of three women--three very, very, very depressed women who are suffering in silence.
I loved reading Claudio Carvalho's review. While short, it really summed up the film very well when "The Hours" was called 'A depressive and boring movie with outstanding cast'. I couldn't have said it any better. While there are three dynamite performances by three top actresses (one of which earned the Best Actress Oscar for this film), the film itself is all about depression and is a bit slow. Despite this, the writing IS good--and weaves together the disparate stories in a very unusual manner that is quite clever. So, it's a film I can respect but certainly didn't enjoy. After all, three ladies who have parallel stories who are fixated on suicide--this isn't exactly a comedy!! I see this film as one that is worth seeing for the performances and I can respect the way the film was constructed...but I just felt disconnected from the characters and didn't like the film. Well done but very inaccessible for most viewers--including me. If you are severely depressed, I sure DON'T recommend you watch it--it might just send you over the edge. Also, it's really NOT a film for kids...so think twice about having them watch it.
The Hours has been told through the authors point of view Virgina Woolf
taking inspiration for his novel from real life incidence story follows
story of two more ladies. It talks about individual feelings for their
life happiness and to pursuit that freedom. It remarks question of own
happiness and life bounded by own's life. Actually what is happiness?
Its a complicated question character played by Julianne Moore is
unhappy with her life he has good husband(Yes he is good better than
many married man) but she is depressing and unhappy. She leaves her
family her young kid get devastated by her mother's step which reflects
that trauma in his adolescences.
Actually where is love may be its in our own life but we are not able to find it. Film has different aspects and it is told in mannerism its complicated but urge for happiness makes person unable to see unseen happiness around them. Acted well From Nicole to Julianne to Meryl but one eyes that I found scary though of little boy whose innocence get killed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Few films have moved me so much as "The Hours". Many good things can be
said about this deeply emotional and highly original drama.The plot
transcends time and space to show the existential agony of Man (or more
precise of Woman). It combines the real character (Virginia Woolf) with
two fictitious ones who seem to be characters out of Woolf's own books.
Death,madness and suicide are never away from all three main
characters, making the plot very, very tense emotionally.It is a film
which should be watched very carefully as there are numerous, seemingly
petty details, which, however, are of great importance in understanding
the meaning of the whole complex story(or stories which intertwine and
"mirror" one another) to create a vast philosophical panorama of human
Life. I am not ashamed to admit that by my second viewing of the film,
I "caught" lots of details that I have missed at the first viewing.
Perhaps the best thing about the film is that it is a PHILOSOPHICAL
one. This is so rare in cinema which has always been more of an
entertainment, rather than art. As I am a great admirer of literature
and consider it the greatest genre in art, I enjoyed very much this
respect towards literature as shown in the film through the fate of
Virginia Woolf. Art imitates Life but the opposite is also true:often
Life imitates Art fulfilling its forecasts.For example the scene when
Woolf plans that her heroine Mrs. Dallaway " to kill herself over
something trivial" almost becomes reality with Mrs. Brown.Basically the
problems confronting people emotionally stay the same through the
ages--only the clocks change,but Time doesn't because everything is
repeated again and again.Also, another aspect of the film that I
enjoyed:almost all characters in the film make great sacrifices for the
ones who they love. It is precisely this love that makes them struggle
heroically with the complexities and burden of life. True, they fail in
the end: Clarissa couldn't stop Richard from committing suicide, Laura
abandons both her children and Virginia Woolf couldn't stand the
difficulty to live at the end. But without this love these deaths would
have happened much sooner.I like that people are presented in their
complex relationships with other people. We sometimes tend to forget
that Art is above all the analyzing of human RELATIONSHIPS in all their
complexities. And you may ask me why after all these praises I gave 9
and not 10? The answer is that I was irritated by the three erotic
kisses in the film. Call me old-fashioned if you like but I do think
that the introduction of sexuality in such a film is totally
inappropriate. Art is about the soul, not the body. Not to mention the
fact that such a sexual drive is psychologically untrue in these
scenes. One of modern culture's greatest sins is this over-celebration
of the human body and of sexuality at the expense of the spiritual. Too
much sex, too little love--this is what we have today in painting,
literature,cinema... I guess these scenes are present in the film
because Mr. Cunningham is openly gay. Still, I do find it inappropriate
in such a film that is preoccupied with the subtlest feelings of the
human soul, to spoil it with cheap sex although these kisses look
innocent enough compared to what I have seen in other films. It is only
because of this that I refrained from giving 10. I must also say that
all three actresses deserve an Oscar for these very demanding roles.
The film is very good but the book is even greater and an absolute must for lovers of art and literature in my opinion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Hours" is, like "Babel" and "Crash", an example of what has become
known as "hyperlink cinema", a type of film-making which has become
increasingly popular over the last decade and which attempts to tell
several different, but interconnected, stories within one film.
Here the link between the film's three different stories is provided by Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway". This book describes a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a London society hostess, as she prepares for a party. Each story within the film likewise describes a single day in the life of a woman from three different historical periods in three different cities. In the London of 1923, Virginia Woolf herself struggles with depression while trying write her novel. In 1951, Los Angeles housewife Laura Brown is reading that same book. And in the New York of 2001 Clarissa Vaughan is also preparing for a party.
The stories are linked by more than the Dalloway connection. All three deal with the themes of depression, mental illness and suicide, as well as that of homosexuality. Virginia Woolf did of course commit suicide by drowning herself in the River Ouse in 1941, an event depicted in the opening and closing scenes of the film, but had unsuccessfully attempted to kill herself earlier, and this is referred to here. She was known to be bisexual and famously had a lesbian relationship with (among others) her fellow-writer Vita Sackville-West, although her sexuality is not dwelt on in the film.
Laura finds herself in a similar position to Virginia. She may, indeed, have taken to reading "Mrs. Dalloway" out of fellow-feeling with its author. Both women enjoy an affluent lifestyle and both have a loving and supportive husband. Yet Laura too is troubled by depression and feels trapped in her home. She too is considering suicide. The film hints that the cause of Laura's unhappiness may be suppressed lesbian feelings; when her neighbour Kitty pays her a visit, Laura kisses her passionately on the lips.
Clarissa Vaughan is quite openly lesbian, living with her partner Sally. In the novel Clarissa Dalloway has a close friend named Sally and Woolf implies that there may be some sexual attraction between them, although in the 1920s she could not be too explicit about this. Clarissa Vaughan is hosting a party in honour of her close friend Richard, a successful poet and author. Richard, however, who is gay, is suffering from AIDS, and is also depressed and suicidal. (In the course of the film it is revealed that Richard is the son of Laura and her husband Dan). Another link between the three stories is cooking; Clarissa is cooking for the party, Laura bakes a birthday cake for Dan, Virginia gives instructions to her servants to prepare a meal as her sister Vanessa will be visiting in the afternoon.
The three sections are subtly distinguished visually. The New York scenes are set in winter and dominated by a cold, harsh light; the predominant tones are greys, blues and dull browns. The London scenes, set in summer, are warmer; the green of the vegetation is an important colour here. The Los Angeles scenes seem to be bathed in a golden light, perhaps symbolic of the nostalgia with which the 1950s are sometimes viewed but at odds with the reality of Laura's unhappy existence.
This was the film for which Nicole Kidman won a "Best Actress" Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf, although I felt she was not the best thing about the movie. Nicole bears no resemblance to the real Virginia Woolf, so the decision was taken to give her a large prosthetic nose. There seemed to be a belief in the early 2000s that a physically attractive actress will not be taken seriously in her profession unless she has made at least one film in which she plays a physically unattractive character. (See also Charlize Theron in "Monster", Salma Hayek in "Frida" and Kate Winslet in "Enigma"). In this case, however, I found the false nose a distraction, and it did not even succeed in making her look like Woolf, who was by no means unattractive. It did, however, provide the media with a source of puns of the "Kidman wins by a nose" variety.
Nicole's nose could perhaps have won the "worst makeup" Oscar, but the rest of her body is fine and this is one of her best performances, on a par with the likes of "Flirting", "The Others", "Cold Mountain" and "Australia". I felt, nevertheless, that there were other contributions which were equally good or better, from Julianne Moore as Laura, from Meryl Streep as Clarissa and from Ed Harris as the tormented Richard. Moore and Harris were both nominated unsuccessfully for Oscars, but Streep was not nominated at all; possibly the reason is that, on the surface at least, Clarissa is more mentally stable than the other three characters, which means that Streep's performance had to be quieter and less showy than the others. That does not, however, make it less effective.
Another important contribution comes from composer Philip Glass whose driving, agitated score for piano and orchestra seems to reflect the state of mind of the film's characters.
A film about suicide and mental illness could easily have become morbid, but "The Hours" escapes this fate, partly because of some fine acting but also because the theme is handled sensitively by director Stephen Daldry and writer David Hare. What could have been depressing instead becomes a compassionate, if at times harrowing, look at people struggling to survive under difficult circumstances. 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE HOURS CATCH IT ( B+ ) The hours, one of most captivating and mesmerizing movie I have seen and best part is its not the story but the performances and the way 3 eras have been told in one place makes it captivating. Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for her portrayal of Real life Legend Virginia Wolf who committed suicide just like shown in the movie. Her performance was just incredible and you won't even recognize her. Every time she came on screen and I had to convince myself that she is Nicole Kidman but she not for a single second let that out. Meryl Streep is a Legend and this time again she shine like always. She again gave one of her careers best performance. Julianne Moore is amazing and her portrayal as the suburb mom and wife was great. She is undoubtedly one of the talented actresses around. Ed Harris, Toni Collette, Clair Danes and young Richard "Jack Rovello" gave commendable performances. Over all a great movie, must be watched with full concentrations because all the three Eras of 1923, 1951 & 2001 are deeply connected!
This is the second time I've watched this, and though I completely
forgot that I had seen it before (that should say something), the fact
that I wasted another two hours re-watching it will make me remember
not to do so again. Yes, the performances by Kidman, Harris, and Streep
are very good, with Kidman's bordering on excellent and worthy of her
Oscar. Sadly, the movie gives the impression that Virgina Woolfe's life
isn't worth a full movie - that two other plots are needed to fill the
entire tedious 114 min. While I understand what was trying to be said
in the film, it was done in such a drawn-out, repetitive, overwrought
fashion that I quickly stopped caring about anyone other than Kidman.
Even the connections between the three plot lines are weak, at best.
Eventually you start wondering if, despite them not even filming
together, the three leads were all trying to out depress each other for
the Oscar. And the motivations for their characters to feel this way
are murky and difficult to ascertain.
My recommendation is to watch the bits about Wolfe, fast forward through Moore looking like a depressed Stepford Wife, and also through the Streep subplot knowing she's a good actress but is being wasted on sup-par material, which unfortunately passes as "great" in today's Hollywood.
i watched it in the lecture introducing English literature. at first, i don't think i can trace it very well ,because the plot looked so loose and out of organization. however, when the film finish, i got a feeling of unspeakable sorrow in my heart. though i still can't see the plot very clearly, i perceive that the mass i entangled and the undefined pain i sensed are part of the writer's intention. she is a genius, she showed her reader of this world in a more direct way. she didn't tell,but just slightly touched your heart,and then you knew yes, that's it!that's what i want the world to know! she is the fairy in everyone's deep heart.
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