London, summer 1923. Clarissa (Vanessa Redgrave), Member of Parliament Richard Dalloway's (Sir John Standing's) wife, sets out on a beautiful morning; she's shopping for flowers for her party that evening. At the same time Septimus Warren Smith (Rupert Graves), a young man who survived the battlefields of Europe, is suffering from a nightmarish delayed on-set form of shell shock. Clarissa's nearly-grown daughter is distant, and preoccupied. In the course of one day, Peter (Michael Kitchen), Clarissa's passionate old suitor, returns from India and is invited to her party, Septimus commits suicide, Clarissa relives a day in her youth (and her reasons for her choice of a life with the reliable Richard Dalloway).Written by
Eileen Berdon <email@example.com>
True to Woolf's finest novel, brilliant portrayal of contrasting themes...
While I agree with some of the more perceptive comments made here, I have a few of my own to add. First, the novel on which this film is based is an all-time favorite of mine and I'm happy to have seen it beautifully translated into cinematic form. The contrast between the personal and inner life of an upper class English woman and the horrors produced by war (in this case, symbolized through the experience of one man, brilliantly portrayed) is both moving and exacting. Vanessa Redgrave gives a splendid performance as Clarissa...sensitive, radiant, conservative and uncertain about life decisions as she looks back (nicely depicted in flashback). Michael Kitchen as her would-be lover of old is perfect for the role...quietly romantic, sexy, with just the right British propriety. The troubled young war veteran and his wife are well cast and Marleen Gorris should be credited with graceful directing.
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