So I walk out of the theater after seeing The Hours and some movie going patron asks me, "did you see Hours? How was it?".
My reply, "donít bring any razor blades...you might use them."
With that I turned and walked way.
What a gloriously depressing movie!
Based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, with a screenplay by David Hare, director Stephen Daldry has made a deep, moving, and very somber movie. The Hours is a very smart movie, maybe not as brilliant (or confusing) as ADAPTATION but still intricate and involved.
Towards the beginning Daldry dazzles us with an awesome montage, jumping quickly through the three eras depicted in the film, the early Twenties, the early Fifties, and 2001. Itís relatively simple, but still magnificent. Good job.
The whole movie jumps between the eras. In the Twenties, Virginia Woolf is writing a book, Mrs. Dalloway. In the Fifties, a housewife is reading the book, and in 2001, another woman is more or less living the book in New York.
Meryl Streep is the 2001 New Yorker (as opposed to a writer for the New Yorker like she played in Adaptation). She has a live in girlfriend played by Alison Janney, and a daughter.
She also has a very close friend played by Ed Harris.
Julianne Moore is the housewife. Sheís married to John C. Reilly and has a little boy.
Nicole Kidman plays Virginia Woolf, sheís married and has a visiting sister.
Thatís as much, if not more, than I should say about the story...
What I can say is that all the praise being thrown at this movie is completely justified.
The story and dialogue are pretty solid, and the direction is flawless.
But my God, the acting...
The acting in this movie is so good that itís almost scary. Ed Harris could easily be Best Supporting Actor (again). Brilliant and heartfelt.
Alison Janney isn't used all that much, but sheís always so good that she just adds that much to whatever sheís in.
Julianne Moore is wonderful. Her face just shows so much emotion. Sheís really good in this. Meryl Streep, as always...amazing. Itís like it just flows from her. Sheís so real, but so entertaining. Itís weird.
And what can you say about Nicole Kidman. Youíve seen the commercials and the posters...sheís unrecognizable thanks to the prosthetic nose and darker hair and rather glum wardrobe. But she has this presence that just canít be denied. Even with the "new look" sheís always the most interesting thing on the screen. She has become such a great actress over the years. I dunno, I canít imagine anybody else winning any award that sheís in the running for this year.
The Hours is not for everyone. Itís almost a chick flick, albeit a really dark one with a hardly a light moment to be had. But if you want to see quality on screen, you canít do much better than this.