4.0 27
Director: Stephen Daldry

Cast: Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman


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Three women, separated by a span of nearly 80 years, find themselves weathering similar crises, all linked by a single work of literature in this film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. In 1923, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is attempting to start work on her novel Mrs. Dalloway, in which she chronicles one day in the life of…  See more details below


Three women, separated by a span of nearly 80 years, find themselves weathering similar crises, all linked by a single work of literature in this film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. In 1923, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is attempting to start work on her novel Mrs. Dalloway, in which she chronicles one day in the life of a troubled woman. But Virginia has demons of her own, and she struggles to overcome the depression and suicidal impulses that have followed her throughout her life, as her husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane) ineffectually tries to help. In 1951, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a housewife living in suburban Los Angeles, where she looks after her son Richie (Jack Rovello) and husband Dan (John C. Reilly). Laura is also an avid reader who is currently making her way through Mrs. Dalloway. The farther she gets into the novel, the more Laura discovers that it reflects a dissatisfaction she feels in her own life, and she finds herself pondering the notion of leaving her life behind. Finally, in 2000, Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is a literary editor who is caring for Richard Brown (Ed Harris), a former boyfriend and noted author, who is slowly losing his fight with AIDS. Clarissa is trying to arrange a party to celebrate the fact that Richard has won a prestigious literary award, but is getting little help from Richard's ex-lover, Louis (Jeff Daniels). As she labors to help Richard through another day, he wonders if his life is worth the unending struggle. The Hours also features Toni Collette, Miranda Richardson, Allison Janney, and Claire Danes.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A complex, engrossing tale primarily enacted by three of the finest actresses working in film today, The Hours interweaves the stories of three profoundly unhappy women linked by an unforgettable book that reveals more about them than they care to admit. David Hare’s adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is intricately structured and meticulously layered, and it creates an emotional vortex that’s as unforgettable as it is powerful. Nicole Kidman, deliberately de-glamorized, portrays novelist Virginia Woolf as a tortured soul whose brilliant work emerges out of her struggle with mental illness. Many years later, Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway has a hypnotic effect on Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), an emotionally barren housewife who cares little for her loving husband (John C. Reilly) and finds Cold War suburban life intolerable. Still later, Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep), a middle-aged lesbian living in New York, conceals her private desperation while caring for her suicidal, AIDS-ravaged former lover (Ed Harris). Director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) unobtrusively guides the three disparate story lines toward their inevitable conclusions, allowing his outstanding performers plenty of latitude in illustrating the different views of love, passion, and duty that comprise the movie’s core. There are no heroes or villains in this yarn, only people who -- like many of us -- silently yearn for something they fear they will never attain. Their longing is conveyed, palpably but with subtlety, in this richly emotional drama, a tour de force by virtue of its superb cast.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Boasting all of the elements of a prestigious Hollywood production, The Hours (2002) is that rarity of rarities: a thoughtful studio movie. Adapted from Michael Cunningham's "unadaptable" Pulitzer prize winner, David Hare's literate screenplay succeeds in translating Cunningham's interior-driven novel about a day in the lives of three different women into engaging cinema. Deftly interweaving the stories of writer Virginia Woolf as she struggles to create her 1925 masterpiece Mrs. Dalloway; 1951 reader Laura Brown, who finds solace in Woolf's book; and 2001 editor and Mrs. Dalloway-esque party planner Clarissa, director Stephen Daldry reveals the underlying connections between the disparate women as each realizes that a life of self-abnegation -- whether as mother, wife, patient, or friend -- doesn't guarantee happiness. Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman play their complex, not always sympathetic roles with delicacy and gusto; Kidman, in particular, is a well-costumed revelation as the brilliant, wry, and disturbed Woolf. Though Ed Harris overplays the poetry in his AIDS-stricken scribe, the rest of the supporting cast superbly complements the lead trio. Even Philip Glass's score of his love 'em-or-hate 'em signature triplets and repetitions neatly underpins The Hours' thematic and emotional structure.
Village Voice
It's an astonishing Kidman who contributes the film's -- and maybe the year's -- most inspired turn. Dennis Lim
New York Times
Ms. Kidman, in a performance of astounding bravery, evokes the savage inner war waged by a brilliant mind against a system of faulty wiring that transmits a searing, crazy static into her brain. Stephen Holden
Washington Post
You don't just love the movie for its structure but for the haunted people in it, making each other miserable, but forcing each other to face who they are. Desson Howe
San Francisco Chronicle
A film that's fuller and deeper than the book. Mick LaSalle

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Product Details

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Paramount Catalog
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Special Features

Commentary by Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman; Commentary by director Stephen Daldry and novelist Michael Cunningham; Filmmakers introduction; 4 featurettes:; - Three women; - The mind and times of Virginia Woolf; - The music of The Hours; - The lives of Mrs. Dalloway; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Hours
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17


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The Hours 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
{The}Hours is by far the greatest movie I've ever seen. Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf), Meryl Streep (Clarissa Vaughn a.k.a. Mrs. Dalloway), and Julianne Moore (Laura Brown) give an absolutely stunning, breath taking, and memorable performance in this movie. In my opinion the movie itself did not get near enough amount of recognition it should have gotten. However, Nicole Kidman rightly deserved the attention she got from it. Congratulations Nicole on winning Best Actress of 2003 at the Oscars for {The}Hours! You deserve it!!! >^_^
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie, crafted amazingly by Stephen Daldy, is based on the Pullitzer-Prize Winning novel of the same title (which I also suggest you buy for a wonderful read). The movie is so well crafted, the segways between the three womens lives and their powerful connections is marvelous. Great Adapted Screenplay by David Hare, and the score by Phillip Glass makes the movie ten times more potent in bringing out your emotions. I cried four time, the movie is touching and profound.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie felt like an exercise in one word sentences, over acting and orchestral arpeggios. I could practically hear the pencil scratching down the dialog. ''Happy?'' ''You?'' ''Sometimes. Maybe.'' ''Liar.'' ''Sometimes.'' ''Sad?'' ''Always.'' ''Lunch?'' ''Crabcakes?'' ''Sure.'' It's as if someone uncreative (Stephen Daldry) decided to forge ahead and create ''art'' for the first time. He got lucky with his only other movie ''Billy Elliot'', now he's got the opportunity to take a dump, uh, I mean ''direct'' another one. It's a shame we'll be seeing more from him in the future now that he got a nod from the Academy. I didn't recognize Nicole Kidman but I thought ''What's wrong with her nose, it looks like Bert's from Sesame Street.'' It was off color and made me think it would fall off. But I didn't realize it was fake. Is it better to have toupee and it be recognized as one or have people think they have really bad but real hair? The music added to my wanting to pull my eyes out with a spoon. Anytime anything happened we'd hear two notes played back and forth on a piano, then arpeggios shared with the orchestra. Despite the fact that the movie took place over three time periods, each character had their own over-blown persona there were no musical themes. You'd think after twenty years Phillip Glass would get bored of his one-trick compositional style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't actually seen the movie, but from I have read the book and seen numerous clips and trailers to know this will be good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie does not scream it's intentions at it's audience, it is not a spectacular bonanza of flash and sparkle. Instead, it is a multi-faceted representation of three women in the face of life, harrowing through their different paths with the same courage. It stays true to Cunningham's brilliance while developing a feel and level of it's own. A truly worthwhile and prestigous film worthy of it's credits.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am adding a review for this film simply because it is not only a wonderful experience, but also because of another review I read here. It would be most unfortunate if people chose not to see ''The Hours'' because of an irresponsible review from a person who clearly should have chosen to view one of any mindless sequels available at the local multiplex in lieu of this literate, beautifully realized exercise by Mr. Daldry & Co. People often speak of films that exist solely for either entertaining or intellectual purposes. ''The Hours,'' based on Michael Cunningham's terse, elegiac novel (adapted smartly for the screen by David Hare), does something well nigh impossible when it comes to adaptations of largely internalized novels to the screen: it succeeds, and then some. In short, the film (and novel) is a meditation upon those primary elements which sustain us through life: familial passion and obligation; the search for individual and cultural identity; and the desire of discovering those moments of happiness and desire which spur us throughout the hours and days which comprise our existence(s). The lynch pin here, of course, is Virginia Woolf, whom, when we meet her, has begun writing a stream-of-consciousness novel which in its execution will depict a day in the life of a London woman as she goes about the myriad tasks of planning for a dinner party. The time frame is 1923. Next, we find a California housewife and mother of one (soon to be two; she is pregnant) who has begun to question not only her own identity, but the choices she has made (marriage, motherhood) in the search for said identity. She feels stifled, claustrophobic, and finds refuge only when she is alone, reading. The book she is reading, of course, is ''Mrs. Dalloway,'' by Virginia Woolf. The time frame is 1951. Finally, we find ourselves with a Manhattan book editor, Clarissa Vaughn, who lives with her partner, Sally, amid the sooted and concrete metropolis of New York. Clarissa is planning a party for a dying friend, a poet, who has just been honored with a prestigious poetry prize. Clarissa is, quite frankly, the modern-day version of Ms. Woolf's title character, Mrs. Dalloway. The time frame is 2001. As for plot, I will stop there and say only that the film moves seamlessly between these three stories, all of which are connected in a way that acts somewhat as a thriller. What Mr. Cunningham and the filmmakers have accomplished to express is the oddest and most wonderful strain of ''biography'' that I have ever read or seen. Through transitions so fluid that one is often caught off-guard, they weave the three characters into a mosaic punctuated by desire, resilience, and a certain lingering melancholia. Not only have they taken an unfilmable novel and made it splendidly so, they have also revealed the importance of literature's abilities to not only brighten our lives, but to inform them, as well. As stated, the direction is taut, fluid; so, too, is the writing. Instead of watching characters speak in a manner that would elsewhere be laden with exposition, they speak here with a familiar sort of syntax which reveals to the viewer a sense of lives that have been spent in close quarters. Sometimes, words are not needed at all. One need only ''listen'' to ''hear.'' As for the performances, all are wrought with an honesty that, at times, leaves one staggered and trembling. From Virginia's fiery testimonial on a train station platform (a scene that, I suspect, earned a very good Ms. Kidman a Best Actress Academy Award), to a housewife contemplating life and death in an anonymous, silent hotel room, to a modern woman breaking down in a kitchen that has suddely come to seem like a strange, alien territory to her, each actor -- Ms. Kidman, Ms. Moore, and Ms. Streep -- rise not merely to the task of ''acting,'' but of pushing that envelope further into a very real state of ''being.'' True, the film deals with many
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this in the theaters awhile back, and was blown away... Cunningham's vision, which seemed impossible to translate to film, was (almost) fully realized. Afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking about it and the questions it raised. The Hours is not, however, to be mistaken as sentimental or particularly heart-wrenching. The enjoyment I got out of it was mostly intellectual, and the first effect wore off pretty quickly. I don't think I could watch it multiple times. Of course it's still worth seeing-- the acting, directing, etc. are excellent- but it's a film of intellect, not emotion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is the best film in2002
Guest More than 1 year ago
Astounding and brilliant. But why Meryl didn't pick up an oscar nomination for her role is puzzling. Meryl is deservingly the greatest actress ever...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the year's absolute fantastic film!!!!!!!!!!!!! the story was very depressing and dark, but very rich. this should have won best adapted screenplay at the oscars!!!! i actually enjoyed this a little more than the pianist. nicole kidman's performance was unforgettable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she made the whole film flow together. i would also like to acknowledge Meryl stree and julianne moore for their inspiring parts in the movie. this truyl is an unforgettable movie, and will live forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cried four times, the movie is touching and profound.I bought this movie, and ordered the book ''HE NEVER CALLED AGAIN'', I highly recommend it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best movies I have seen. I could relate throughout the whole movie. It brings out true feelings and emotions that everyone feels at some time in their life. It was an emotional movie for me. I would recomend it to anyone that has feelings and not ice running thru their veins.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Man, the one star review couldn't have been more wrong. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I guess, and to him, it was a terrible movie experience. Oh well. I won't dwell on it, but I just want to comment on the 'overacting' remark. On the contrary, the subtleties in the performances are mesmerizing. The looks of terror and dread without a word being spoken, Nicole Kidman allowing Woolf's inner demons to sneak into her blank eyes, Meryl Streep's nervous eye darting and Julianne Moore's volcanic rushes of panic enveloping her face. This is anything BUT overacting. These are wonderful actresses at the top of their game, and the story is beautifully told. By the way, the music is lovely. My advice to Johnny one-star: watch it again.....and relax!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the movie Ive heard so much about?? It was the most boreing movie ive seen in a long time. The story dragged out and didnt have a real point...or a point that mattered or made sense anyway. I would not recommend this movie to anyone i really cared about. I had a hard time trying to stay up. I TRIED to give it a chance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie lay hidden in my, well actually my mom's collection for a while b4 i was too bored to object to. i'd seen it in nyc last spring but didnt really pay attention, i just liked the music. however, after sitting down to watch the film, i was entranced, enthralled, enraptured in the slowly flowing river melancholy and self-loathing. i think i was able to identify so well that i couldnt help but like it. anyway, i'm looking for movies like it to contrast cunningham/woolf with others writers of what is real. all in all, awesome film. give it a chance with someone who you really want to get to know, you'll have so much to talk about!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unbelievably BRILLIANT!!! A master piece! It will linger in your mind long after the final credit. I love this movie every time I watch it I learn a new thing about it. I can relate to it so much it was a very emotional and intellectual movie for me. If you liked the movie you will LOVE the book it's (Unbelievably) ten times better Michael Cunningham writes so beautifully.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never have I seen so many self absorbed and self destructive people making tehm selve miserable... while all the while thinking there is someting important and enlightening going on. From the other reviews I have read giving this piece of trash 5 stars, it would seem tere are many other potential mental patients otu there who think that their self preoccupied semi-insantity in enlightening. Wake up a smell the coffe. Self destruction isn't nteresting. Self obsession is boring!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the movie is brilliant, that is a given. what i'd like to say is something that's not about the movie but about people who think they know how to appreciate good films yet doesn't realize that they can't even construct a simple grammatically correct sentence. just for the record, the film may have tackled issues of insanity but it sure is a far cry from absurd movies nowadays.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While others reviewers have given this film 5 stars, I would have to disagree completely!!! These reviews have stated that this film is "brilliant", a "masterpiece", "incredible", however to me it is incredibly boring. After watching this movie, I felt as if I had completely wasted my time and I regret putting eyes through the pain of watching this entire film. If you are a person that enjoys self-obsessed people and self distruction (which I hope is not the case), you may like this film. In short, do not but this film, unless of course you have trouble sleeping, then give this film a shot, otherwise don't!!!!!!!!!!!
camcgee97 More than 1 year ago
The Hours contains many actors doing self-absorbed, thoughtless, and simply wrong things, but doing them well, and convincingly too. It excells in being one of the finest pieces of feminist tripe made for the screen.

What is revolting about the film is not so much the quality of its making, which was high, or the idea that living for other people with no regard for ourselves may make all parties miserable. That idea, when portrayed by such an all-star cast, could have been profound if it were subjected to more sophisticated treatment by Daldry, et. al. Instead, we get Moore and Kidman superbly portraying the now trite "unfulfilled, sexually repressed, woman role," which is made even more hackneyed by the fact that Moore's story takes place in the 50's. Moore would have done well to have added more life to her character, who came off as flat and selfish. Kidman (and the writer of the movie) could have benefitted from the reality that Woolf, when not under one of her "spells," was one of the great socialites of early 20th century England. Streep's character is the only one who shows any vitality, but there is something missing in her story as well.

No, simply questioning whether we are happy is not reprehensible. But this movie, in marginalizing men by making them little more than parasites, buffoons, or sidelights for women says nothing new or worthwhile. Instead, it seems to be saying that people, and women in particular, are oppressed by family life and by their obligations to other people. But in each case, the movie takes a far too simplistic look at these women's lives in order to make the above point.

Virginia Woolf's marriage seems to have been a very happy one, despite her apparent bipolarity. In fact, Woolf said, "after 25 years (I) can't bear to separate (from Leonard)... And our marriage so complete." The movie seems to be suggesting that the tragedy of her life was not her mental illness, but that she was somehow oppressed by having to live with Leonard and by not being able to realize her lesbianism. Of course, the film doesn't note that the Woolfs were members of the Bloomsbury Group, which discouraged exclusive sexual relationships. It was through the Bloomsbury Group that she met Vita Sackville-West, another married woman, with whom she had a lesbian relationship for most of the 1920's. But the evidence suggests that she loved her husband, was at most bisexual, and at least was simply ideoligically encouraged to have such relationships (and what was up with having Woolf kiss her own sister?).
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