The Hours (2002) Poster



As Richard is sitting on the window ledge, just before he commits suicide, he says to Clarissa, "I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been.". This was also a line in the suicide note written by Virginia Woolf to Leonard Woolf.
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Nicole Kidman loved wearing the prosthetic nose and wore it in private too, mainly as she was undergoing a divorce from Tom Cruise at the time and was attracting a lot of paparazzi interest. Much to her delight, by wearing her fake nose out and about, she found she could easily evade the paparazzi as they didn't recognize her.
"The Hours" was the original working title of Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway".
Nicole Kidman learned to write with her right hand (Virginia Woolf was right-handed).
Nicole Kidman decided not to imitate Virginia Woolf's actual tone and voice because she feared people thought it would be comic.
Originally, Nicole Kidman was supposed to be nude beneath her dress at the beginning of the film when Virginia Woolf drowns herself. Kidman objected to this, and the studio provided her with a flesh-colored rubber suit. She doesn't throw herself into the real river Ouse - its current has dramatically changed since 1941 - but into another river in which they had to place huge fans to alter the current. Director Stephen Daldry's chief concern during this scene was not that Kidman might drown but that she be sucked into the fans.
Dan Brown tells his son Richie about falling in love with Laura, but John C. Reilly was actually telling Jack Rovello the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" so the young actor would appear interested. The actual dialogue was dubbed in later.
Meryl Streep decided not to re-read "Mrs. Dalloway" in preparation for the film, as she felt that her character Clarissa would have read it in college and not particularly have understood it then, much as Streep herself had done when she was at college.
Meryl Streep is actually mentioned in the original novel, The Hours written by Michael Cunningham, on which the film is based.
To achieve the effect of Laura becoming submerged in the hotel room, the set was lowered into a tank of river water.
This film was disqualified by the Academy for the Best Makeup Oscar because digital touch-ups were done on close-ups of Nicole Kidman to make the nose seem seamless.
During the editing stages, producer Scott Rudin received a call from author Michael Cunningham requesting to see some of the footage. Cunningham's mother (on whom the character Laura Brown was originally based) was entering into the final stages of terminal cancer and Cunningham dearly wanted his dying mother to see something he had written committed to film. Rudin hastily assembled 20 minutes of footage and had it sent over to the Cunninghams.
Come Oscar nomination time, the film caused problems for makers Paramount and Miramax as they weren't sure whether to put Nicole Kidman forward as Best Supporting Actress (where she would have been in direct competition with her 2 co-stars, probably canceling each other out) or as Best Actress (even though from a screen running time perspective it is a supporting role). Meryl Streep is in the film for 42 minutes, Julianne Moore for 33 minutes and Kidman for only 28 minutes.
Meryl Streep likes to prepare for her characters by selecting a piece of music that she listens to constantly. Director Stephen Daldry liked her selection so much (Jessye Norman singing "Four Last Songs" by Richard Strauss) that he included it in the scene where Jeff Daniels's character visits Clarissa's apartment.
Producer Scott Rudin had to do battle with Miramax head Harvey Weinstein over Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose and Philip Glass's score, both of which Weinstein hated.
In the beginning of the movie, every house is seen to be having flowers. Every house has a different color of flowers: red, yellow and blue - Virginia Woolf's trademark.
Julianne Moore's segment was filmed first, then Meryl Streep's, and finally Nicole Kidman's.
Ed Harris's apartment was supposed to be a drafty New York loftspace. In reality, the studio set in England was stiflingly hot and both Meryl Streep and Harris regularly had to have the sweat mopped off them.
Nicole Kidman read all of Virginia Woolf's personal letters, and found that they gave her greater access to her character than her novels.
Eileen Atkins (Barbara in the flower shop) wrote the screenplay for Mrs Dalloway (1997), the movie based on the novel Virginia Woolf is writing in The Hours.
To ensure Julianne Moore's safety while speeding down the freeway in a car without seat belts, the other cars surrounding her were in constant radio communication with each other.
At The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) on March 23 2003, Denzel Washington said as he announced the nominees and winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role, "...and the winner, by a nose, is Nicole Kidman," in reference to Kidman having worn a prosthetic nose for her performance in the movie.
Julianne Moore's time line was bumped up from the novel's austere 1949 setting to the more optimistic and affluent 1951, as that better served to show Laura's powerless feeling of alienation.
When the seating chart for Richard's party is shown, the name in the middle is Michael Cunningham who wrote this story.
From the outset, Nicole Kidman had always been Stephen Daldry and Scott Rudin's first choice to play Virginia Woolf.
Although the widely perceived notion was that Michael Cunningham's original novel was felt to be unfilmable, adapter David Hare actually thought it was effortlessly cinematic.
Nicole Kidman is the third person and first actress to win an Oscar for a role played with a false nose. The other two are José Ferrer, for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), and Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou (1965).
Allison Janney was originally chosen for the role of Barbara in the flower shop but she insisted on taking the role of Sally Lester, Clarissa Vaughan's (Meryl Streep) lover.
Leads Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman never actually met during the shoot and only got together after the production wrapped.
The role of Laura Brown was originally intended for Emily Watson.
Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf's dramatic railway station scene was filmed at Loughborough Station in Leicestershire over three days, over 100 miles from the train station depicted at Richmond. The genuine 1920s steam train came from the Isle of Wight and was taken by truck to Loughborough.
The song "Beim Schlafengehen" (Going to Sleep) that Clarissa plays in her apartment is one of the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss, all dealing with a farewell to life.
The title of the book Richard wrote is "The Goodness of Time". It's visible on the cover in scenes where Louis Waters reads it in Clarissa's apartment.
In the book, Julie (played by Claire Danes) wears six rings on her fingers, has a nose piercing and a much older girlfriend named Mary Krull, who doesn't get along with Clarissa.
In total, Meryl Streep received 17 award nominations for the film, Julianne Moore received 18, while Nicole Kidman received 25 nominations, including 8 wins. The three were collectively awarded the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress, which was the first time the award has been shared between three performers.
When the script was offered to her, Nicole Kidman originally thought the producers wanted her to play Laura Brown and not Virigina Woolf.
(Kodak Theatre / 23 March 2003) When Nicole Kidman ascended the stage to accept her Best Actress Oscar from presenter Denzel Washington, co-star Ed Harris played the role of "seat-filler" when he occupied the vacant seat beside Kidman's mom for the duration of her acceptance speech.
Virginia Woolf's dialogue from the book is narrated verbatim by Nicole Kidman with only a few passages omitted as they were deemed irrelevant to this portrayal.
Nicole Kidman is one of two left-handed Best Actress winners to portray a right-handed character. Two years earlier, left-handed Julia Roberts won her Oscar for playing right-handed Erin Brockovich-Ellis in Erin Brockovich (2000).
All three leading actresses have won Academy Awards.
The film takes place in 1923, 1941, 1951 and 2001.
Leonard Woolf's dash from the house in Richmond, leading up to the railway station scene took him through St John's Churchyard and Sutton Place in Hackney, London (14 miles) to Loughborough (114 miles), all in the space of a minute of screen time. A 10 second dash through Sutton Place took the best part of day's filming with several antique vehicles parked in the resident's parking bays; a handful of costumed pedestrians; plastic antique covers for concrete lamp posts and lots of sticky black tape to cover door bells and other modern door furniture. As he races past we see several Georgian houses with original, and quite rare sash window shutters. Sutton Place was a good choice as a uniform terrace of houses still bearing features of yesteryear.
In 2012, Nicole Kidman did an official audio-book recording of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse", released by Audible Studios.
Miranda Richardson worked for only 8 days.
In 2014, by coincidence, the three lead actresses all appeared in a film adaptation of a literary piece in which they wear a wig with a radiant and sharp bobcut for their character; Julianne Moore in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014), Meryl Streep in The Giver (2014) and Nicole Kidman in Paddington (2014).
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore; and five Oscar nominees: Ed Harris, Toni Collette, John C. Reilly, Allison Janney and Miranda Richardson.
Zeljko Ivanek actually filmed scenes as Louis Waters with Meryl Streep, only to be replaced with Jeff Daniels later in production. All scenes between Louis and Clarissa were subsequently re-shot.
To make her look like Virginia Woolf, Nicole Kidman wore a false nose.
The characters from the book, who doesn't appear in the film are Julie's friend Mary Krull, Sally's celebrity friend Oliver St. Ives and Richard's publisher Walter Hardy, all from the Clarissa segment of the book. In the film, some of Hardy's dialogue has been given to the flower clerk, while the rest are completely erased from the story.
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Gwyneth Paltrow was considered for the role of Laura Brown.
In the novel, Laura's maiden name is Zielski. In the film, her maiden name is McGrath.
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Julianne Moore was wearing a fake stomach; she wasn't really pregnant at the time of filming.
This movie marks the second collaboration between Nicole Kidman and Margo Martindale. They previously appeared together in Days of Thunder (1990).
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The first time Clarissa (Meryl Streep) visits Richard (Ed Harris) she asks how he has slept and he says something like "He saw glowing jellyfish" - Just has to be an in-joke to his role in The Abyss.
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The first time that Meryl Streep has appeared in a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards since Out of Africa (1985), a gap of 17 years, despite the fact she has been Oscar nominated seven more times since then.
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Michael Cunningham: Clarissa (Meryl Streep) walks past the author on her way to the flower shop.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A year after she had wrapped, Julianne Moore was recalled to play her final scene as the older Laura. By this time she was seven months pregnant, having had to wear a fake stomach when she played the younger version of her character.
The spaceship fabric that can be seen in young Richard Brown's room is the same that one of the blankets is made from that older Richard wraps around him when he is ill.
Much concern surrounded the portrayal of Laura Brown in the 2001 segment. Fearing that suitable makeup couldn't make Julianne Moore look elderly, and due to scheduling conflicts, Betsy Blair was cast to play the role of Old Laura. Scenes were filmed with Meryl Streep. However, director Stephen Daldry was so dissatisfied with the outcome that Moore was brought in much later in "old" make-up, to re-shoot scenes with Streep. It took 6 hours to apply Moore's make-up for the scene.
Nicole Kidman was the first Australian actress to win a Best Actress Oscar, followed by Cate Blanchett who won 11 years later for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine (2013).
In the book, it is Louis (Jeff Daniels) who has a breakdown in the kitchen, and not Clarissa.
Of the three lead actresses, only Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore share a scene together. This occurs at the end of the film where the older Laura visits Clarissa.
Virginia's suicide note to Leonard is not only spoken verbatim the same as the actual letter, but the first page of the letter itself, as the viewer sees Leonard reading it, is written line-for-line the same as the actual letter. The handwriting is slightly more legible, and less slanted upward to the right, in the letter depicted in the movie. Virginia Woolf died on Friday, March 28, 1941. The note says "Tuesday" at the letterhead; this is believed to be the note she wrote when she unsuccessfully attempted to drown herself, 10 days earlier.

On the mantle, the viewer also sees an envelope marked "Vanessa". This is the suicide letter Virginia wrote to her sister, Vanessa Bell.
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