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The Hours
The Hours
Actors: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Miranda Richardson
Director: Stephen Daldry
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2003     1hr 54min

THE HOURS tells the story of three very different individuals who share the feeling that they have been living their lives for someone else. Virginia Woolf (Kidman) lives in a suburb of London in the 1920?s as she struggl...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Miranda Richardson
Director: Stephen Daldry
Creators: Ian MacNeil, Marieke Spencer, Mark Huffam, Michael Alden, Robert Fox, David Hare, Michael Cunningham
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Family Life
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/24/2003
Original Release Date: 01/24/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/24/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 55
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Julia R. from GERMANTOWN, MD
Reviewed on 10/15/2016...
This movie sat in my DVD collection for years before I finally decided to watch it, so that I could pass it on. This is a sad movie but I recommend it anyway. I found it very thought provoking and motivating to learn more about Virginia Wolfe and the Pulitzer Prize winning novel on which it is based. The surprise twist at the end effected me deeply.
Carla R. from ANAHEIM, CA
Reviewed on 2/19/2013...
One of my favorite movies.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sandra F. (Sami) from ST PETERSBURG, FL
Reviewed on 2/4/2012...
This is by far one of the most depressing movies I have watched in a long time. If there was a plot I never found it. If you want to sit there watching and thinking "what the hell is going on" this is the movie for you. The acting was splendid but did not make up for subject matter or lack of understanding.
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Raymond G. from DRACUT, MA
Reviewed on 12/29/2011...
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Remarkable Cast in Their Finest "Hours"
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 01/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An intelligent and lyrical film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's exquisite Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the ways in which any person's life can be drastically altered during the course of a seemingly normal day. The story cuts back and forth between three women's stories: in 1923, novelist Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is writing her novel "Mrs. Dalloway" while recuperating from a mental breakdown; in 1950's Los Angeles, housewife Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is reading Woolf's book and feeling a growing sense of desperation about her bland suburban existence; and in 2001 New York, middle-aged Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) is planning a party to honor a dying friend (Ed Harris) who has referred to her by the nickname "Mrs. Dalloway" since their youthful affair many years previously. Like Cunningham's book, the film spins all three stories simultaneously, pointing out the similarities and differences between each of the women's lives; and then finally ties all three threads together in a spectacularly clever and thought-provoking twist that reveals the larger pattern of the plot (some audiences members in the theatre where I saw the film actually gasped aloud as they began to understand). As befits such a character-driven film, the acting in "The Hours" is uniformly superb. Meryl Streep is luminous throughout as Clarissa, but particularly shines in her final scenes as she welcomes a stranger into her home; and Julianne Moore brings a fascinating combination of fragility and power to the role of the repressed Laura. Toni Collette infuses her short scenes as Laura's friend and neighbor Kitty with a marvelous counterpoint to Moore's quiet introspection; Miranda Richardson is restrained Victorian perfection as Virginia Woolf's demure sister; and Ed Harris is achingly brilliant in the small but showy role of Clarissa's dying friend. Among this handful of flawless characterizations, it is Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf who nonetheless stands out. She completely disappears into her role; although much comment has been made about Kidman's prosthetic nose and the way it completely changes her appearance, it is not makeup alone which transforms the vivacious actress into the dowdy authoress. Kidman uses her mouth and eyes with incredible economy: her bowed lips move without disturbing her pale, translucent cheeks; and her downturned, darting eyes communicate eloquently her character's sense of uneasy restlessness. Kidman's Virginia seems uncomfortable in her tall body, and her voice is dangerously strained. It's a transcendent performance, and one with which Kidman solidifies her growing reputation as one of her generation's most talented screen actresses.The film is beautifully photographed in dark, muted hues; the sets appear just as they were described in Cunningham's hauntingly visual novel. While Philip Glass's score is at times a bit obtrusive, it nonetheless contibutes effectively to the atmosphere of the film. The most stunning technical achievement of the film is the wonderful costume design; clothing styles and fabrics have been painstakingly planned and executed, providing some subtle foreshadowing and highlighting of important themes and motifs thoughout the narrative. Costumer Ann Roth should definitely find herself in the running for an Oscar, as should Streep, Moore, Kidman, Harris, director Stephen Daldry, film editor Peter Boyle, and of course, the Picture itself. Altogether, "The Hours" is an outstanding film that provides an extraordinary cast ample and unique opportunities to shine, especially its formidable trio of leading ladies."
Haunting, Beautiful, Sad, a monumental achievement
Mathias | NY | 04/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The writer of this film has achieved the impossible in the movie business: create an intruiging, beautiful, yet filmable version of a very untheatrical novel. And boy do they succeed.The film focuses around three women, remarkably portrayed by Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.
Kidman is Virginia Woolf, whom is the key in the plot and a link between the other two characters. As she begins to write "Mrs. Dalloway," perhaps her most famous novel, we see events unfolding in a single day in the lives of two other women in different locations and time periods:Pregnant Laura Brown, in a haunting, nearly silent performance by Moore mainly opposite a small boy, is coming to terms with the fact that she is miserable in her marriage to the humble and loving Dan (John C. Reilly). One of her only comforts is reading Virginia Woolf, in the film mainly "Mrs. Dalloway."The third woman is Clarissa Vaughn, in a wonderful performance by Streep, whose link to Woolf is that she is actually living the novel "Mrs. Dalloway," except in present-day New York.As the single day unfolds, the emotions and personalities of the characters are the main focus, much like in Woolf's novels, and the seamless edits and chilling Phillip Glass score contribute to the overall sad mood.All in all, the transition from book to movie is highly successful and smooth, the performances are marvelous, and director Stephen Daldry proves once again how talented he is in his craft.I can also provide evidence for those reading negative reviews: the short running time in one review is actually pushing two hours, and comments about "no plot" are made with little knowledge of Virginia Woolf; the plot is the character, and I was as entertained with this movie as any of the other critically hailed films this year.
Hours spent making choices in a search for love
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 01/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Three women. Three different time periods. Three different situations. But yet, in some way, all are linked to the Virginia Woolf novel, "Mrs. Dalloway". Each woman wakes up one morning with the anticipation of some sort of party. There's Virginia Woolf herself in 1923, whose creativity as well as mental illness is apparent. She's frustrated at her forced seclusion from the London she loves and is making time for her sister's visit. There's Clarissa Vaughn, a middle-aged New York woman who is having a party for a good friend and former lover who is dying of AIDS. And there's Julianne Moore as Laura Brown, a 1951 housewife who is planning on baking a cake for her husband's birthday. Michael Cunningham linked all this together in the small masterpiece of a novel. And the screenwriter, David Hare did nothing less than a brilliant job in adapting it to the screen. I just finished reading the book and so I was particularly sensitive to the small changes, such as eliminating some of the minor characters. But the rather introspective and sad tone of the book is still there. And the characters spring to life in the kind of performances that will surely garner them all academy award nominations.Nicole Kidman is cast as Virginia Woolf. I was surprised at that because I think of her as a glamour queen. However, for this role she wears a prosthetic nose, and her makeup gives her a sallow appearance. She comes across as dowdy and homely and slightly insane. And her acting is so good that I thought I was seeing the actual Virginia Woolf on the screen. Meryl Streep is Clarissa Vaughn. She's living with her own set of life regrets. There's sadness beneath her veneer of the perfect hostess planning a party, and it's not a surprise when she lets it come out. And then there is Julianne Moore cast as Laura Brown, all alone in her despondency even though she seems to have a perfect life. Ed Harris is cast as the AIDS patient who is also going mad. They, and the rest of the cast are some of the best actors in the business, and it really shows. The cinematography and sets are also outstanding and the shifts between the three stories are seamless. There will be a gesture in one scene that is picked up in the next and this kind of overlapping editing keeps the story flowing. There's a theme of suicide throughout. And bisexuality. Mostly, though its about the our need for love and the choices we make about how to spend our hours. Much of the story is painful. But yet, its theme is universal. Highly recommended."