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With: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, John C. Reilly, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Dillane, Allison Janney, Miranda Richardson, Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale
Written by: David Hare, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham
Directed by: Stephen Daldry
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some disturbing images and brief language
Running Time: 114
Date: 12/18/2002

The Hours (2002)

3 Stars (out of 4)

How Will the Woolf Survive?

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Written by David Hare and based on Michael Cunningham's novel, The Hours traces and interweaves the lives of three women: Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) during the writing of Mrs. Dalloway in 1923, a housewife (Julianne Moore) reading the finished book in 1951 and contemplating suicide, and a modern-day woman (Meryl Streep) who cares for her ailing poet friend (Ed Harris) and throws him a party, just like Dalloway does in the book. Director Stephen Daldry draws marvelous performances from all three women, but the film suffers from a bout of overt seriousness, perhaps far too aware of its own literary magnificence. Moore's segment unfortunately bears an obvious resemblance to the recent masterpiece Far from Heaven and pales from the comparison. Kidman won an Oscar for her severe portrayal of writer Woolf, wearing a prosthetic nose, but otherwise using only her bottomless, resonant eyes. Philip Glass provided the effective, moody score.

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