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The Hours

October 4, 2012

Hello everybody !

Today, I would like to present you a movie that I’ve seen during the summer holidays and that I’ve really enjoyed. It’s called The Hours (I’ll explain this choice of title later), and adapted by Stephen Daldry from the novel by Michael Cunningham.

In this movie, we can see the crucial day of the life of three women from different centuries (that is why the title is “The Hours”). All the story revolves around Mrs. Dalloway, a novel by Virginia Woolf, one of the women represented. Indeed, their destinies are connected by this book, directly or indirectly.

The movie begins with a scene of suicide in a river, in 1941. Twenty years before, Virginia Woolf (played by Nicole Kidman) a reknowned  writer, tries to write a new book, Mrs. Dalloway. She lives with her husband Leonard and some servants outside London, for health reasons, and seems to bored.

In 1951, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), tries to escape from her conventional life by reading Mrs. Dalloway. Reading will give her the desire for a new life, because the one she has doesn’t satisfy her, even if she’s pregnant and loved by her husband and her son.

The third day takes place in 2001, with Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep), who is the perfect embodiment of the heroine of Virginia Woolf’s story insofar as  she spends the day preparing for a party in the honor of her friend Richard (Ed Harris). Richard is in a way more than a friend, but he has  AIDS and the party Clarissa organizes is to celebrate the publication of his novel.

Throughout the movie, we understand how those three women are linked and what makes each day shown special in their lives. For example (be careful, SPOILERS HERE), we learn quickly that if Virginia lives far from London, it is because she’s in depression and has a mental illness. Then, Laura is so bored that she’ll attempt to flee, but she’ll come back because of her lack of determination. Clarissa fights against Richard to convince him to come to the party, but finally he’ll die, just like the poet friend of Mrs.Dalloway in the book. The sequence of events is very well brought to the conclusion: the scene of suicide at the beginning is the one of Virginia, who can’t stand  to be a burden to Leonard anymore  and decides to end her life; Laura seems to continue her usual life despite her dissatisfaction in her life; and the burial of Richard. At this moment, we learn that in fact Laura is Richard’s mother; she left him and his little sister one day to restart a new life as a librarian in Canada and avoid suicide.

The reasons why I really like the film is because each piece of the story’s puzzle is conducted softly and slowly; so we can make our own suppositions until the truth appears and reveals another part of the life that the three women endure. The link between them is a novel, and this poetic dimension in the main story is really pleasant for me. I confess that I almost cried at some scenes because the actresses and the actors were so good, so moving, that it was as if I were in the movie too and that I was an internal spectator of their torments.

I advise you to watch the movie in a calm environment and alone, to be better immersed by the vibes exuded. The music is wonderful too, particulary at the end.   Click here to see the opening sequence of the movie.

Well, it’s all for today. Hope that you’ll enjoy The Hours too, because if you don’t watch it,  you’ll regret it one day !

 Ophelie

One Comment leave one →
  1. Myriam & Marie permalink
    October 4, 2012 12:52 pm

    It looks to be a really thought-provoking movie ! Thank you for this discovery

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