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"The Hours" was the first movie I've seen in 2003. I'm easily going to
it as the best movie of 2002 and something tells me that in 12 months
I will be saying it's one of the best movies of 2003 as
Based on a Michael Cunningham novel, "The Hours" combines a real life story (Virginia Woolf), a re-written one (Laura Brown's interpretation of "Mrs. Dalloway") and an original creation as well (Clarissa Vaughn).
We get three different stories, each fascinating on its own edited together into a complex, intriguing drama that will have you in tears a couple of times before the ending credits start rolling.
What glues the stories together is "Mrs. Dalloway" - the book. Virginia Woolf, a suicidal author in England (1923) creates the character, the novel inspires a lonely housewife in Los Angeles (1951) and a 'trivial' 2001 New York City gay woman is called "Mrs. Dalloway" by her dying friend who points out the similarities between them. Later on, we find out another connection between the characters.
It's clear that the thoughts that have been put into this movie go beyond the screenplay and acting. Things like the settings & clothing for each story help compile a perfect, believable plot.
However, what really left me with awe was the PHENOMENAL acting.
Nicole Kidman (with the word "Oscar" stamped on her forehead) delivers a performance of a lifetime playing a rather difficult role while disguising everything that is usually so associated with her. With a fake nose, a cold, dark and distant attitude and above all a rough change to her voice, Kidman portrays Mrs. Woolf exactly as the writers wanted us to grasp her and manages to be the most outstanding of the three despite getting the least screen time. Absolutely amazing.
Meryl Streep (C. Vaughn, 2001) and Julianne Moore (L. Brown, 1951) give impressive lead performances themselves with memorable emotional scenes. Cameo appearances by Ed Harris, Claire Danse, John C. Riley, Alison Janney & Toni Collette all support this exquisite masterpiece.
MUST SEE. 10/10