The Hours (2002)

Hours, The (2002, USA) C-115m. *** D: Stephen Daldry. Starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Stephen Dillane, Miranda Richardson, John C. Reilly, Toni Collette, Ed Harris, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Eileen Atkins. Exceptional film, based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. Writer Virginia Woolf (Kidman) is on the brink of suicide as she is writing her famous Mrs. Dalloway (1923). In the early 1950s a troubled housewife (Moore), whose thoughts seem impenetrable, is reading that book. The third plot strand unfolds much like Mrs. Dalloway, with lonely Streep preparing a party for her artist-friend Harris, who is dying of AIDS. Intelligent, thoughtful, thorough drama with first-rate cast carries a tremendous emotional impact. Daldry's excellent direction seemlessly combines the three narrative levels. Perfect score by Philip Glass. Adapted by David Hare. Kidman won a Best Actress Oscar, although her role is quite small.


© Ron Altman