The Hours

The Hours

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[pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]The Hours Review
by Jerry Saravia (faust668 AT aol DOT com)
April 15th, 2003
THE HOURS (2002)
Reviewed by Jerry Saravia
April 14, 2003
RATING: Four stars

Watching "The Hours" reminded me of a 1996 HBO film called "If These Walls Could Talk," which focused on three different women in three different timelines - all bound by a story thread involving abortion. "The Hours" works in similar ways but it is also far more hypnotic and moving, involving lesbianism in subtle, amusing and highly charged ways.

The common thread in "The Hours" is not abortion - it is Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway." In England, 1921, we see Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) writing the novel of "Mrs. Dalloway" - a novel, as she describes, of a woman who gives parties all her life and then kills herself for no clearly discernible reason. Woolf lives with her husband, Leonard (Stephen Dillane), a publisher, in a home outside of London. She is not happy living in the country - she was happiest in London. Her household staff is not receptive to Virginia's demands, particularly in the kitchen when it comes to food ingredients like ginger that can only be purchased in London.

Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is the housewife in a 1950's setting, married to a hard-working, pleasant man (John C. Reilly). They have a devoted son who is deeply concerned with his mother's moods. Laura tries to bake a birthday cake for her husband, then bakes another one, and then takes her son to a babysitter. She wants to kill herself (using Woolf's book as an inspiration) since she feels her life has been wasted in trying to appease a man she met and fall in love with at first glance. A sick friend of hers (sparklingly played by Toni Collette) suggests Laura's bisexual side.
Then there is the modern setting in New York City 2001 with Clarissa (Meryl Streep), referred to as Mrs. Dalloway by her HIV author/ex-husband, Richard (Ed Harris), whose own life is in...

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