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I'd first just like to make this clear: I'm not the typical movie-going
stood in line to see "Jackass" on opening weekend or drove "XXX" to a $100
million+ box office take. No, my favorite films of the year included Michael
Cacoyannis' sublime adaptation of Chekov's "The Cherry Orchard," the
brilliantly scripted "Igby Goes Down," and Phillip Noyce's shattering "Rabbit- Proof Fence." So now that I've established that I have semi-decent taste in film, I would like to offer that I think that "The Hours" is undoubtedly the WORST film I have seen in ages. The lead performances - Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep,
Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris - are so poorly conceived and directed as to be embarrasing. There IS good acting in the film, but it's in the small roles - Toni Collette, Clair Danes, and Jeff Daniels. The scene early in the movie when
Meryl Streep goes to the florist is such a disaster of poor scripting and line directory that I was having to stifle laughter. And need we speak of Phillip Glass' score? I like Mr. Glass' music, but Stephen Daldry has inexplicably allowed him to use nothing but slight variations on the EXACT SAME THEME throughout the entire film. The volume of the music has
been mixed very high in comparison to the dialogue, and the result is that the music insufferably overpowers every damned scene it appears is, which is
nearly every one. And the dialogue... what we have in this film is dialogue that works on the
printed page only. Novelists can get away with using arch or unnatural
dialogue because we're not hearing it spoken and we can sort of compensate in our heads. However, when dialogue this ridiculous comes out of an actor's
mouth it becomes pretentious and unbelievable. Does anyone actually believe
that people TALK like this? Absolute silliness. Not to sound insulting to people who liked the movie, but this film is for people who haven't the patience or depth the read a novel of any substance and watch films like this in order to posture themselves as literate. I saw this film with a group of my college professors, and we all went out for coffee afterwards and had a right old time just ripping this film to shreds. I sincerely hope you'll do the same and prevent Paramount and Miramax from financing more debaucles like
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To fulfill the "guidelines" of IMDb, I will start off by saying that I
did not enjoy watching this film. However, I found it to be an
incredibly accurate depiction of depression supported by impeccable
acting by a knock-out cast; plus, the positivity of the final scene
(for some of the characters, at least) was refreshing.
Moving on to my motivation for a review-please post this, IMDb. This segment is still elementarily in regards to the content of the film and I think it will also provide a necessary rebuttal to a polarizing argument which could keep folks from experiencing what is really a great piece of cinema.
I just read a review by Eric Allen. The writing was satisfactory and it made a couple of valid points, but I was displeased with the piece in general.
There was one point in particular with which I took offense. The review expressed utter disgust and disillusionment with the angst in this movie, or, more specifically, with the admittedly large quantity of *sighs* present in the film. It went on to discuss the over-the-top nature of Woolf's (Kidman's) Clarissa's (Streep's), and Laura's (Moore's) respective depressions, making such post-production suggestions as titling the film "Just Kill Yourself Already".
I will offer that I, too, was a bit put off by the overall negative attitude of the film and the constant over-analysis and drama on the part of its characters. However, I recognized that these aspects of the film were accurate to actual depression patients.
And consider this: the film is about parallels between the minds of three women, one of whom is Virginia Woolf, writer of the tragic "Mrs. Dalloway" and eventual suicide case-a victim of her own torturous mind. Entering such a film, is there not an expectation or rather a necessity of the presence of angst? Additionally, the reviewer I mentioned earlier made it seem as though these women are anomalies of the human condition. They are not: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 14.8 million Americans, or 6.7% of the population ages 18 and older, suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, making it the country's leading cause of disability. Though there are some clues as to the causation of depression, such as chemical in-balance or lack of exercise or proper nutrition, no one knows for sure.
As one can see, these women are not anomalies. They are not freaks to be looked down upon by some ignorant, condescending internet reviewer-these characters provide incredibly accurate representation of the experiences men and women who for centuries have suffered silently with similar symptoms of depression. Depression is real, and it is all too common.
So, as happy as I am that Mr. Eric Allen is ignorant to the realities of depression, I would appreciate it if next time he conducted some research to gather adequate knowledge of his subject before he writes his reviews. That way, he won't sound like an ignorant bigot and we won't have to waste our time on unfounded "pseudo-intellectual" (Allen) scribble.
If you like self-indulgent tripe shoved down your throat for the three longest hours of your life, then this movie is for you. If you value your life, then you might want to skip this as you will learn to hate humanity...if you do not already. If there is a more obnoxious piece of feminst propaganda in the world, I haven't found it. These women SHOULD hate themselves. You will, after you watch this movie.
A movie only the elitist Academy types could love. Nicole Kidman's role was the highest form of self-centered behavior seen in a movie. Sad to think this movie got so much notoriety when the only purpose was to expose a deeply scowling and self serving woman. At least the other two women were more aware of the consequences of their behavior and chose to rise above their own deeply mired self-serving personalities. Meryl Streep was better. Normally I love any movie she is in. I could not connect with her character in this movie. Julianne Moore's character was probably the most realistic of all three, as she exhibited believable confusion but why must we continually harp on the gay aspect when such a small percentage of people relate to this? And such heavy-handed machinations that were used on Moore's character made me embarrassed to watch her friend's reaction. It's ALL about ME seemed to scream from this movie, and I could not wait for it to finally end. Depressing enough to make one contemplate suicide, I will give it that much.
What a piece of work!! I ran accidentally into this movie...and it became my favorite. Of course, you don't get to see Moore, Streep and Kidman acting so often together so you should enjoy the movie for this reason first. Then..well there are so many details to learn from in this "chef d'oeuvre" .Where should I begin from? Woolf's life is in each one of the three caracthers.Let's begin with Moore for instance: in the movie, she's an awful mother, madly in love with a friend of hers, she neglects her own son and her behavior's repercussions are later terribly borne by her son- who, by the way, became a great writer, misunderstood and...sick - sick of the world around him and suffering from AIDS. It's always a reason for which we are who we are and we become who we become. And it's disastrous for a mother not to understand her son's pain even when his story -untold and cruel story- lies in a book, incomprehensible by "common people". In the end,Laura (Moore) realizes her mistakes, but it is too late for her because her son dies alone, unable to bear the illness and "The Hours"..after the party. Streep(Clarissa) does a great job. She loves to take care of her best friend Richard ( Ed Harris), she enjoys going to his place , being always there for him, seeing her life through his eyes. But she loses, she can not be brave anymore, she gives up the feeling of special friendship between the two of them , when he kills himself. Then she takes refuge into her girlfriend's arms accepting that that compassion can be physical sometimes..those feelings of inner hate and untouchable personality can be defeated by a kiss from the one you love and live for. All these events happen on the background of Woolf's life. Kidman (Virginia) suffers a lot: there is no more love left for her, the walls are closing in and her story remains untold. She wrestles " alone , in the dark" and the only light is the one from her cigarettes. Virginia invented lives, dramas and destinies, invented and reinvented her life in her work. She drowns into life as Laura (Moore) drowns into Woolf's obsession . And while Laura escapes the passion of misleading life, Virginia embraces the predicted supreme silent moment of death. And there are no exequies , but silence for her. The glaring sun sets upon her life,leaving her "oeuvre" undying. She is "l'auteur" - and not "the author" - of everyone's destiny who believe that facts happen for a reason. At the end of "The Hours", the feeling of uselessness seems irrepressible, the story giving us the very meaning of life. Always the hours between us...and the others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a writer myself and not only does it make you want to stop and write it also inspires people to think about their lives a little more. Look at this movie and I am sure that it will leave you thinking about a lot more things than you were the day before. Nicole Kidman is not my favorite actress; but she surprised me with a very good choice. Streep and Moore both give wonderful performances; but Kidman steals the show in this powerful performance. Even though I really loved this movie, I found Moore's character slightly annoying. She seemed to go to very different lengths to get where she needed to go, where Kidman and Streep went to different ones, but had a sort of connection. Ed Harris gives another wonderful performance and was again raped from the awards he deserved.
...she absolutely deserved the Oscar for her part in this. She somehow has a brilliant knack for playing sombre roles superbly and hamming excited and giddy roles right up! I loved Moulin Rouge, but hated her as Satine at her most excitable. I (worryingly) enjoyed the remake of The Stepford Wives, yet Nicole as the filling of the ham sandwich in all three manifestations of Joanna Eberhart (vamp, doting wife, robot) made me cringe with unease. But in The Hours came her glimmer and hope, and all my expectations were proved wrong. I expected Nicole Kidman at her most enthusiastic, I got someone who even outstripped the mighty Meryl (who was still marvellous, as usual). Was just a shame Julianne Moore didn't win anything either. But all in all: Splendid.
An outstanding depiction of chronic depression, the deep insight it often
engenders, and the devastating impact this phenomenon has on peoples'
The actors must have sensed ahead of time that this was going to be a truly great movie, and all of them completely threw themselves into their roles. The result is a level of acting brilliance rarely seen in cinema today.
Intertwining three story lines in a single movie must have represented a daunting challenge for the director. However, he pulls it off with complete aplomb, enabling us to become deeply absorbed in all three stories as they move, in tandem, inexorably toward their fateful outcomes.
Some on the IMDB board have criticized this movie for being nothing more than overindulgence in morose self-absorption. But, read their comments, and it becomes apparent that many of these critics are predisposed to angrily dismiss ALL life experiences they do not understand. That's a shame because this movie offers them an opportunity to learn something about people who are very different; namely, people who - through no fault of their own - lead wretched emotional lives, and who, perhaps, see and feel far more of the truth of life than the rest of us.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Entertainment Industry! WAKE UP! After the
utter pain and endurance that was The Hours, I decided that I would
rather chew off my own arm than ever take a look upon this "Emperor's
New Robes" conceptual insult to intellectual thought. The fact it got
any awards seems a joke in itself. The Hours was somehow connected to a
story about three women all having to deal with the concepts of suicide
through a Virginia Wolfe novel. I would have wished they had killed
themselves earlier in the movie so it could end more entertainingly
than the bland ending full of 'concept' and 'artistic value'. After
watching the Hours (joke) i had fully decided to become a conspiracy
theorist! I honestly thought to myself; I think this is a sick joke,
that the director is just making this stupid movie to see whether or
not people consider it new vogue entertainment. That perhaps anyone is
too gutless to admit that this is crap, and that it really doesn't have
story or ideas. It is an airy fairy pile of whoo ha. Critics seem to be
too afraid of telling the truth, that this is a ridiculous movie just
in case they may labeled a 'non-spirited artiste'.
Let me enlighten all of you. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! Save your 5 bucks or so and rent another movie. If you want something that is going to force yourself into a coma, rent the Hours. Otherwise, you would have to pay me to watch it again.
NOT WORTH SEEING!
Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? I am, now.
The writer titled this movie "The Hours" because when you are done watching it, you know you spent hours, and hours, and hours sitting staring at a group of very drab, dysfunctional people.
Nicole Kidman's performance is suitable for a suicidal woman suffering from severe depression, documenting that the author Woolf succeeded very well in passing her mental illness to others both in her family and among her readers.
My wife chose to rent this movie based on critical acclaim. Both of us regretted bothering with it, deeming Kidman's performance nothing less than morbid--a continuous downcast countenance, mumbled lines, and dowdy costuming put the Kidman character into perspective.
That Hollywood actors, directors and writers are so infatuated with their own works is proved only by the esteem by which it was regarded at Oscar Night. But time will show Kidman's effort to be lacking in any subtlety and the script to be a wandering dull and depressing effort to capture the atmosphere Woolf created in "Mrs. Dalloway."
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