Book Review: The Hours

A stunning British-American drama film with nine Academy Award nominations, Stephen Daldry's The Hours is a story of three women from different eras and places, connected by their yearnings for meaningful lives.

The film is an adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of three contemporary characters wrestling with the tensions of love and despair. Due to the complexity of the detailed storyline and the masterful interweaving of plot, it is remarkable that the adaptation from book to film was undertaken, if not successfully done so.

The actors were exceptional. Among this handful of flawless characterizations, it is Nicole Kidman (who won an Oscar for her role in this film) as Virginia Woolf who nonetheless stands out. She completely disappears into her role, transformed from a vivacious actress to the dowdy authoress. Her very demeanor communicates eloquently her character's sense of uneasy restlessness. Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore also put on a strong performance.

The film stepped outside of traditional boundaries, demonstrating a fierce passion and profound, though continuously questioned, moral. Director and author cast together writer, reader and character, showing the three as having a cohesive relationship. The perpetual sense of deeply felt discovery tempers the film's weightiness in bringing the observer in close to whisper to us the things we have only felt but not put into words. A most affecting work.
@ 2011 by Rachel Lowry. All Rights Reserved {photo via}

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