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The Hours (2002)

aka The Hours

"Three Different Women. Each Living a Lie."

Directed By: 
Details: 114 mins · English, Italiano · PG-13 (USA)


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A great combination of storys circling around Mrs Dalloway. It's not the kind of movie you'll want to see aain and again but absolutly worth watching

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I loved the connections between the stories. The reoccurring themes and lines all of it. Beautifully put together. And truly stunning performances

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brilliant in layers and paralell storytelling

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Small Virginia Woolf
Small Laura Brown
Small Clarissa Vaughan
Small Leonard Woolf
Small Vanessa Bell
No_movie_poster Quentin Bell
No_movie_poster Julian Bell
No_movie_poster Angelica Bell
Small Lottie Hope
Small Nelly Boxall
No_movie_poster Ralph Partridge
No_movie_poster Doctor
Small Dan Brown
No_movie_poster Richie Brown
Small Kitty
Small Richard Brown
Small Sally Lester
Small Julia Vaughan
Small Louis Waters
Small Mrs. Latch


Small Stephen Daldry Director
No_movie_poster Maria Djurkovic Production Design
No_movie_poster Philip Glass Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Patsy Pollock Casting
Small Scott Rudin Producer
No_movie_poster Seamus McGarvey Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Ann Roth Costume Design
No_movie_poster Nick Palmer Art Direction
No_movie_poster Philippa Hart Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Peter Boyle Editor
No_movie_poster Mark Huffam Producer
Small Michael Cunningham Author
No_movie_poster David Hare Screenplay
No_movie_poster Robert Fox Producer
No_movie_poster Ian MacNeil Producer
No_movie_poster Daniel Swee Casting
No_movie_poster Richard Strauss Original Music Composer
Small Michael Cunningham Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Peter Boyle Editing


"Three Different Women. Each Living a Lie."


With the exception of the opening and final scenes, which depict the 1941 suicide by drowning of Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) in the River Ouse, the action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years, and alternates among them throughout the film. In 1923, renowned author Woolf has begun writing the book Mrs Dalloway in her home in the town of Richmond outside London. In 1951, troubled Los Angeles housewife Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) escapes from her conventional life by reading Mrs Dalloway. In 2001, New Yorker Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) is the embodiment of the title character of Mrs Dalloway as she spends the day preparing for a party she is hosting in honor of her former lover and friend Richard (Ed Harris), a poet and author living with AIDS who is to receive an award for career achievement. Richard tells Clarissa he has stayed alive for her sake, and the award is meaningless because he didn't get it sooner, until he was on the brink of death. She tells him she believes he would have won the award regardless of his illness. Richard often refers to Clarissa as "Mrs. Dalloway", due to her distracting herself from her own life and self the way the Woolf character did.

Virginia, who has experienced several nervous breakdowns and suffers from bipolar disorder, feels trapped in her home, intimidated by servants and constantly under the eye of her husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane) who has begun a publishing business, Hogarth Press, at home to stay close to her. Woolf both welcomes and dreads an afternoon visit from her sister Vanessa (Miranda Richardson) and her children. After their departure, Virginia flees to the railway station where she is awaiting a train to central London when Leonard arrives to bring her home. He tells her how he lives in constant fear that she will take her own life. She says she fears it also, but argues that if she is to live she has the right to decide how, and where, as much as any other.

Pregnant with her second child, Laura spends her days in her tract home with her young son, Richie. She married her husband, Dan (John C. Reilly), soon after World War II. On the surface they are living the American Dream, though she is deeply unhappy. She and Richie make a cake for Dan's birthday, but it is a disaster. Her neighbour Kitty (Toni Collette) drops in to ask her if she can feed her dog while she's in the hospital for a procedure. Kitty pretends to be upbeat, but Laura senses her fear and boldly kisses her on the lips. Kitty then pretends as if nothing happened. Laura and Richie successfully make another cake and clean up, and then she takes Richie to stay with Mrs. Latch (Margo Martindale). He is terrified of being left without her and she insists she will be back, but instead of running errands she checks into a hotel where she intends to commit suicide. Laura removes several bottles of pills and Woolf's novel from her purse, and begins to read Mrs Dalloway. She drifts off to sleep, and dreams the hotel room is flooded, awakening with a change of heart, and caresses her belly. She picks up Richie and they return home to celebrate Dan's birthday.

Clarissa appears equally worried about Richard's depression and the party she is planning for him. She frantically cleans and cooks while Louis Waters watches, before finally crumpling in tears. Although Clarissa herself is a lesbian who has been living with Sally Lester (Allison Janney) for 10 years, she and Richard were lovers during their college days, and he has spent the better part of his life in gay relationships, including one with Louis Waters (Jeff Daniels), who left him years ago but returns for the festivities. Clarissa's daughter, Julia (Claire Danes), comes home to help her prepare. Richard has taken all sorts of pills but tells Clarissa she is the most beautiful thing he ever had in life, before he throws himself out a window to his death. Later that night Laura, who is Richard's mother, arrives at Clarissa's apartment. It is clear that Laura's abandonment of her family was a profound trauma for Richard, but Laura reveals it was a better decision for her to leave the family after the birth of her daughter, rather than commit suicide. She has led an independent, happier life as a librarian in Canada. She does not apologize for the hurt she caused to her family (Dan and their daughter are also both dead), and suggests that it's not possible to feel regret for something over which she had no choice. She acknowledges that no one will forgive her, but offers an explanation: "It [her life] was death. I chose life." When Julia hugs her, she looks stunned and surprised, then moved by the demonstration of compassion.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2003-01-24 : United States of America

DVD : 2003-06-24