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.
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"The Hours" was the original working title of Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway".
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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.
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This movie was disqualified by the Academy for the Best Make-up Oscar because digital touch-ups were done on close-ups of Nicole Kidman to make the nose seem seamless.
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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 twenty minutes of footage and had it sent over to the Cunninghams.
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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.
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Meryl Streep is actually mentioned in the original novel, "The Hours" written by Michael Cunningham, on which this movie was based.
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Dame 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 this movie.
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Meryl Streep decided not to re-read "Mrs. Dalloway" in preparation for this movie, as she felt that her character Clarissa Vaughan would have read it in college and not particularly have understood it then, much as Streep had done when she was at college.
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Meryl Streep likes to prepare for her characters by selecting a piece of music to which she listens 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 Louis Waters (Jeff Daniels) visits Clarissa's apartment.
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Julianne Moore's timeline 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.
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Come Oscar nomination time, this movie caused problems for makers Paramount Pictures and Miramax Films, as they weren't sure whether to put Nicole Kidman forward as Best Actress in a Supporting Role (where she would have been in direct competition with her two co-stars, probably cancelling each other out) or as Best Actress (even though from a screen running time perspective, it is a supporting role). Meryl Streep is in this movie for forty-two minutes, Julianne Moore for thirty-three minutes, and Kidman for only twenty-eight minutes.
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Producer Scott Rudin had to do battle with Miramax Films head Harvey Weinstein over Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose and Philip Glass' score, both of which Weinstein hated.
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Nicole Kidman decided not to imitate Virginia Woolf's actual tone and voice because she feared people thought it would be comical.
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Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman never met during the shoot and only got together after the production wrapped.
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To achieve the effect of Laura becoming submerged in the hotel room, the set was lowered into a tank of river water.
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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.
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When the seating chart for Richard's party is shown, the name in the middle is Michael Cunningham, who wrote this story.
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Nicole Kidman read all of Virginia Woolf's personal letters, and found that they gave her greater access to her character than her novels.
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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's) lover.
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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.
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Richard's (Ed Harris's) apartment was supposed to be a drafty New York City loftspace. In reality, the studio set in England was stiflingly hot, and Meryl Streep and Harris regularly had to have the sweat mopped off them.
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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.
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Much concern surrounded the portrayal of Laura Brown in the 2001 segment. Fearing that suitable make-up 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 six hours to apply Moore's make-up for the scene.
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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.
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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 this movie.
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When the script was offered to her, Nicole Kidman originally thought the producers wanted her to play Laura Brown and not Virginia Woolf.
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In total, Meryl Streep received seventeen award nominations for this movie, Julianne Moore received eighteen, while Nicole Kidman received twenty-five nominations, including eight 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.
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In 2012, Nicole Kidman did an official audio-book recording of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse", released by Audible Studios.
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Nicole Kidman was the first Australian actress to win a Best Actress Oscar, followed by Cate Blanchett, who won for her performance in Blue Jasmine (2013).
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From the outset, Nicole Kidman had always been director Stephen Daldry and producer Scott Rudin's first choice to play Virginia Woolf.
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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.
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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.
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The role of Laura Brown was originally intended for Emily Watson.
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Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf's dramatic railway station scene was filmed at Loughborough Station in Leicestershire over three days, over one hundred 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.
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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.
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All three leading actresses have won Academy Awards.
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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.
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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).
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(Kodak Theatre/March 23, 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.
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This movie takes place in 1923, 1941, 1951, and 2001.
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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 (fourteen miles) to Loughborough (one hundred fourteen miles), all in the space of a minute of screentime. A ten 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.
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Zeljko Ivanek 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.
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Of the three lead actresses, only Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore share a scene together. This occurs at the end of this movie where the older Laura visits Clarissa.
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The cast includes four Oscar winners: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Allison Janney; and four Oscar nominees: Ed Harris, Toni Collette, John C. Reilly, and Miranda Richardson.
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Nicole Kidman is one of two left-handed Best Actress winners to portray a right-handed character. Left-handed Julia Roberts won her Oscar for playing right-handed Erin Brockovich-Ellis in Erin Brockovich (2000).
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Gwyneth Paltrow was considered for the role of Laura Brown.
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The characters from the book who don't appear in this movie 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 this movie, some of Hardy's dialogue was given to the flower clerk, while the rest are completely erased from the story.
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To make her look like Virginia Woolf, Nicole Kidman wore a false nose as strongly recommended by costume designer Ann Roth.
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The first time that Meryl Streep appeared in a movie nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards since Out of Africa (1985), despite the fact she has been Oscar nominated seven more times since then.
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Features Julianne Moore's only Oscar nominated performance in a movie nominated for Best Picture.
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In 2014, by coincidence, the three lead actresses all appeared in a movie adaptation of a literary piece in which they wear a wig with a radiant and sharp bobcut for her character; Julianne Moore in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014), Meryl Streep in The Giver (2014) and Nicole Kidman in Paddington (2014).
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In the novel, Laura's maiden name is Zielski. In this movie, her maiden name is McGrath.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be nominated for Best Original Score.
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Nicole Kidman and Margo Martindale appeared in Days of Thunder (1990).
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Julianne Moore was wearing a fake stomach. She wasn't really pregnant at the time of filming.
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Nicole Kidman and Dame Eileen Atkins appeared in Cold Mountain (2003).
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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", which might be an in-joke to his role in The Abyss (1989).
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Originally, Nicole Kidman was supposed to be nude beneath her dress at the beginning of this movie 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.
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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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In the book, it is Louis Waters (Jeff Daniels) who has a breakdown in the kitchen, and not Clarissa Vaughan.
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Virginia's suicide note to Leonard is not only spoken verbatim the same as the actual letter, but the first page of the letter, 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, ten 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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