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

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A heartbreaking and moving portrayal of three women led by the same feelings and motives

Author: Red_Identity from United States
14 September 2009

The Hours is an amazing novel that captures life's meaning and human emotions. The film is practically the same thing. This is not a very fast-moving film, or a film that audiences should expect to have so many climactic points. Instead, it is a film about three women, Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughan, and Laura Brown. Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore all give extraordinary performances. Nicole Kidman gives a tour-de-force as Woolf, a challenging and unstable depressed woman. She is amazing, subtle and powerful. Her facial expressions are enough to let us know the kind of misery she is going through. Kidman has never been this amazing in a film before, and her performance should rank among the best of this decade. Meryl Streep is great as always. Her character is the most stable of the three, and the one that leads us to a clear window. Just like in the novel, Clarissa here has the least interesting storyline, but Streep and Ed Harris together are amazing. Harris really stepped it up as well. Julianne Moore surprised me a great amount, since I never thought she had the acting ability of Streep or Kidman, but here she is a strong performer. Moore gave Laura Brown, who I thought was the most interesting character in the novel, real dimension and depth, and just like Kidman, she says so little, yet means so much. She is amazing here. The story lines all flesh themselves out in a surreal and realistic way, and mainly to ask us the same questions all three women have. How should life be fulfilled? What is happiness and how is it found? What is the measure of things a human being has to go through to be happy and live how they like without knowing what they want or how to get it? The Hours is a deeply moving film, and the best of it's year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Different. Very, very different.

9/10
Author: Aida Nejad from Gothenburg, Sweden
25 October 2007

This is a weird, different film. But the story, the cinematography and the acting was superb. Meryl Streep is great and so is Nicole Kidman, who I really think deserved her Oscar. Julianne Moore got nominated for an Oscar, but didn't win. Catherine Zeta-Jones won instead, which I think is wrong, Julianne Moore was a lot better than her.

The movie in itself was strange, but the way the camera work was handled made the whole film beautiful and enjoyable. Lots of the time I think that great movies don't exist after the 21 century, but this film proves me wrong. The scene were Julianne Moore is at her hotel and there is water flooding the room is awesome. Really well made.

I recommend this film to all the movie-lovers and the people who don't concentrate on the flaws because if you over look this film then you won't enjoy it as much as you really should, because this is close to a masterpiece.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hours well spent

8/10
Author: jazzpiano- from Australia
10 April 2007

'The Hours' is a subtly philosophical film, in which the three core characters question their existence (in general, and also in relation to society's expectations) when faced by death and the passing of time, hence the title. All three characters are linked, not only by what they do as characters in the film, but by visual links conceived by the film's creators. The film is composed of three separately filmed, literal narratives, injected with symbolic imagery and metaphors.

The three characters are closely linked with each other: Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is a modern-day Mrs. Dalloway, whose opening line is, "Sally! I think I'll buy the flowers myself.", Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a suburban 50's housewife currently reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), who in the 1920's has only begun writing the novel itself.

At first, I thought Nicole Kidman was a casting mistake. I've never seen Kidman give emotional depth or realism to a character, so I was definitely a skeptic. With a prosthetic nose, she is rendered unrecognizable in this film, which works in her favour as it makes her believable. The costume design and other visual aspects of the film are perfect - the film seems very loyal to the time.

Julianne Moore gives a typically great performance, communicating a deep sorrow through body language, while she helps her son bake a cake. Later in the film, in one of the most moving scenes, Moore delivers a beautiful performance as she betrays what she is feeling to keep her husband happy, but I wouldn't want to spoil the scene for you.

I haven't warmed to Meryl Streep as an actress. She certainly had an extraordinary reputation to live up to when I saw one of her movies for the first time. I'd read articles and biographies that named her the greatest living actress, so when I finally saw one of her films I was disappointed. It wasn't that she was bad, on the contrary, her performance was gorgeous, but not mindbogglingly amazing.

This is the first film where I saw some of Streep's brilliance shine through. Streep only lives through one day as Clarissa Vaughn, but Clarissa sure does have an emotional day! I have a great respect for Streep now, because I've seen a couple of her films and the roles she chooses seem quite varied.

I would like to note the appearance of Toni Collette in the first half of the film, as Kitty. Toni Collette embodied the character fleshed out in the book by Michael Cunningham so well, and she held a perfect balance between admitting her sadness and denying it altogether.

The music! Philip Glass' score nearly overshadowed the brilliant acting! They worked so well together - the music tied the three stories together, and the rolling piano and sombre strings complemented the emotional scenes without becoming overly sentimental or sappy.

The film, as a whole, is unsentimental and bleak, but still very emotionally affecting. The lack of sentiment, perhaps, makes the film seem cold and lonely, which is what all three characters are feeling. There are fleeting moments of pure love for our characters, which they receive gratefully, only to have it denied from them again. That's all I dare say about the film before I have to put a spoiler warning.

All in all, a deeply thoughtful and faithful adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel. In fact, the novel and the film complement each other nicely. The book is very insightful to the characters, and the film is beautifully structured, with judged performances and emotive music. Neither one is 'better' than the other, in my opinion.

I believe that it wouldn't matter if you read the book before the film or vice versa, because both have the power to surprise and engage. I really loved the film, it's very re-watchable, which makes any film a great film; a film with longevity.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Meticulous, rich, layered triptych

8/10
Author: Framescourer from London, UK
2 January 2007

Over-insistent score from Philip Glass aside, this is a fine film. In fact the music helps with regard to illuminating the complex emotional taffeta-colour of the characters. It just makes too great a claim for itself. All other contributions are directed and selfless.

I would start in this respect with the flowers. That's where it had me when I saw it at the cinema: the technicolour explosion of the Manhattan flower shop (a Vertigo nod) gives way to the unreal cornflower blue of Woolf's Richmond house, the same blue as the icing on Laura's husband's birthday cake. All this would be lost were it not for the frame by frame intensity of Seamus McGarvey's attention to the shoot. An awesome achievement in any strand of the story.

Well, Hare and Daldry have come up trumps adapting Cunningham's book with this dense attention to design and editing panache. This would be enough to recommend a viewing but nothing quite prepares one for the power and elusiveness of the three central performances. Nicole Kidman was Oscarified but quite rightly incorporated herself with Moore and Streep. Kidman is no passenger however - her work with Miranda Richardson is the gold standard met by the others. Moore's character is an easier, stripped down trope. With Safe and Far From Heaven already worked through she could phone this in - instead she plays it even closer to the edge, like a terrifying, fresh axe wound. Streep's modern feminine conundrum utterly convinces. The naturalisation and intensity of support form Harris, Janney, Dillane and even Claire Danes means that it might be easy to miss just how good the principal triumvirate is.

The best tribute one might pay this film is that it manages beauty and horror simultaneously. The trajectory of the film is set in the suicidal prelude but one cannot help but watch, bewitched. Quite something. 8/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Hours holds its own because of the incredible acting

7/10
Author: bw11 from United States
9 October 2006

I knew the plot was supposed to be confusing as it switched back and forth between three time lines and three different women. I patiently waited for it to come together and it did -- but the plot itself did not really hold me enough to continue this two hour movie. What kept me watching was the incredible acting done by everyone on the screen. Our three main women -- Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nichole Kidman were beyond scoring a ten. They were fantastic -- so believable. Kidman, wearing a false nose, was so dowdy it was hard to find her. She totally became Virginia Wolfe. Julianne Moore was incredible in her silent suffering. And Meryl is always incredible. The supporting actors held there own too. What an amazing group of talented actors.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Philosophising on Time

Author: Ion Martea from London, UK
4 December 2003

The most complex film since "Pulp Fiction" and "Howards End" was realized across UK on Valentine's Day. The Hours, directed by "Billy Elliot"'s Stephen Daldry, and based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Michael Cunningham adapted by David Hare, is an epic about life, just as it is: rough, trivial, passionate; above all it is a masterful atomisation of the day-to-day life of an ordinary woman.

The action, or better said the lack of action, is concentrated in one single day of three women, 'and in that day {their} whole life'. Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), battling insanity, starts writing in the early 1920s her highly acclaimed novel, Mrs. Dalloway, while 'avoiding life' in Richmond. Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) starts reading in Los Angeles the same book that is to affect her perfect family life in early 1950s. So we reach a climax, when Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) is to give life to Mrs. Dalloway in 2001 in New York. All the three stories come to be intertwined in Richard Brown (Ed Harris), a brilliant poet dying of AIDS, who is to become the victim of Virginia's novel, Laura's abandoned son, and the disillusionment in love, but also the peak of happiness, in Clarissa's 'meaningless' life.

"The Hours" is a film that is to disappoint anyone looking for entertainment while going to the cinema. There is little, almost, nothing in it, which would allude to a story. Nevertheless, the film contains one of the most powerful and poetic plots second maybe only to Kazan's "A Streetcar Named Desire" or "The Great Gatsby". Hare managed to recreate so exquisitely the Woolf's universe, full of ordinary characters, though all perfectionist in their triviality. This led to the creation of a very real picture of humanity in a never-changing time.

The main reason, though, why this picture is to remain a classic in the cinema history is the flawless female performances. If "Mrs. Dalloway" represented the step from a good to a great writer for Woolf, then "The Hours" is the membership ticket into the all-time top actresses league for Nicole Kidman, who manages to freeze motion with each gesture, to capture a mad universe in each look. Moore does her own share of work: pale, confused, loving and hating, she gives life to a character that looks so dead while staying alive. And then Streep comes with a metallic hysteria, with a depressing reality every time she defends the beauty of each wasted hour. Miranda Richardson, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, all leave memorable performances behind.

"The Hours" has left very little room for criticism. The one thing is that it may trigger a number of yawns in case one misjudges it for an appetiser of a long night out.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Kisses - Commentary on DVD - deleated scenes

Author: (tryferoskardia@aol.com) from NJ
16 September 2003

First I have to say The Hours is my 2nd favorite movie of all time!! (Ironically, my #1 fav is Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf)

Anyway, my only real disappointment of the Dvd is the director/screenplay commentary. I mean he went on and on about his book. This film is very intricate and a lot needed to be talked about. It would have been better had they done separate commentaries.

I was also disappointed that there were no deleted scenes. i noticed while watching the trailer of The Hours that there were 2 scenes not shown. One was of Danes and she was in the kitchen with a lot of lit candles. It goes by so fast its hard to catch. And the 2nd scene was of Sally and Clarissa hugging in what looked like white robes. its not a big deal but i hate when stuff that's not in the movie makes it in the trailer! oh well

On the Kisses, heres my thought

When I first saw the film I thought that Virginia WAS going for a reaction out of Vanessa. I dont think it was sexual at all. It was to try to get Vanessa to look at her, to really look at her coz nobody understood her or her feelings. Laura's kiss was more of comfort like the director or writer, i forget which one, said. I don't think she was a lesbian. I think she was soo unhappy that she was trying to console herself more than kitty. As for clarissa, I think her kiss with sally was one of "this is a new day". I think shes been in love with Richard all these years. she even said she's been stuck all these years. It wasn't the name, that's just what she told Luis. Her relationship with sally was of comfort and convince.

anyway, i loved this movie and i related with it incredibly. Clarissa is soooo me. And there are definatly parts of me in Virgina and Laura. This film, more than any other, is "me". I LOVE IT!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

AMAZING!

Author: Lucas Dunaway (lucas_dunaway@yahoo.com)
27 August 2003

This film is amazing. It's somewhat of a classic in its own time. Amazing costumes, sound, and acting. With a movie that includes Streep, Kidman, and Moore, who could go wrong. Its a 10/10! I still feel as though Streep should have earned an Oscar for her role. Kidman was so different... her acting style has changed for the better over the years. Moore was outstanding. The scene where she leaves her son and is going to the hotel is breathtaking!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Two unforgettable hours

9/10
Author: danielll_rs from Belo Horizonte, Brazil
7 June 2003

Not everyone liked THE HOURS, and that may be the reason why it took only one Oscar- Best Actress for Nicole Kidman. Having read the novel, I can say that the adaptation was amazing, but there's nothing wrong if you haven't read the novel.

Being a man, a young one but a man, I can't understand women but I'm still fascinated by them. THE HOURS is a feminine film (not a feminist one; there's a difference), but I could feel what these women felt, and that's the magic of cinema.

From Stephen Daldry's impeccable direction to the terrific performances, without dissonant notes, THE HOURS is a film to be remembered for years.

10/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

MUCH BETTER THAN RAMBO III

Author: protoboy from Europe, America
15 April 2003

I went to see this movie with my boyfr, he's a great movie expert and only takes me to french and alternative movies and the very few times we happen to laugh at every punchline and really enjoy the show we walk out of the theater and go "humpf, a bit predictable, wasn't it?!"

Such things considered, we HAD to like this boring movie. The story carries on with no real plot, Harris is too cute as a child to ever want to touch a woman in his life (especially mrs.'5 layers of makeup' Streep), Julian Moore plays no more than some leftover footage from 'Away from heaven' and Nicole Kidman almost risks a heart attack realizing she's much more glamorous and touching with a fake nose than waving her legs as la belle epoque of the third millennium or quitting her pathetic marriage with baby face Tom. The Oscar was indeed for best make-up originally, but George Bush really deserved that one for his 'war against terrorism' so they went for best actress instead.

So what? The movie is nice because in the first 5 minutes you get a hint of what a nice movie is made of. Philip Glass's a pain in the ass (rhymes) but this time he matches the atmosphere perfectly, the editing is very clever and the three women wake up to a new day of despair, while our day desperately fades watching what's left of the poetry of Mrs.Woolf in our days.

Movies must not be judged for what they really show, but for what you would have liked them to show you. And just as I would have loved to know more about Virgina Woolf and her inner feelings, I was actually only shown that when you wear a nasty victorian dress, even if you are miss Kidman you will still look like your grandma. So I'll go out and buy some smart clothes, and forget about the nose surgery...thanks Virginia!

God bless, life is pretty miserable if you can only choose between a) Living a lesbian affair with a woman who enters your bed in the morning after checking local darkrooms security exits all night; b) Leaving your dumb husband and kids, ruining their life to a point they'll write cheesy novels about it; c) Jump in the river (that seems fair enough, but why that dress again?)

I chose already. George Clooney in a bathtub filled with olive oil.

On the rocks.

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