Finally, in this horrible film wasteland of Fort Collins, we have gotten one of the most hyped films of this Oscar season. “The Hours” comes to us from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham of the same title. It tells the tale of women who hide (metaphorically speaking) to deal with the lives they wish to have as opposed to the lives they lead.
This film traces the story of the lives of three women: Laura Brown, played by Julianne Moore; Meryl Streep, who plays a book editor who takes care of a dying friend, Ed Harris, who calls her “Mrs. Dalloway;” and Virginia Woolf played by Nicole Kidman.
Their intertwining stories link the women with the common condition of losing themselves as they put others before themselves. We watch Woolf trying to write ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ the novel, Brown trying to plan a birthday party for her husband and “Mrs. Dalloway” trying to prepare for a party for her dying friend.
There has been a lot of hype around this film. In fact, this garnered the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama). Moore and Kidman have been receiving nomination from many different awards and the director has also been nominated several times. But if you read my review of the award shows, nominations do not guarantee the film is something you will enjoy.
Do not jump to any conclusions yet; I did not necessarily dislike this film, but the hype built it up to something it is not. This is not a revolutionary film, this is not something that discovers the secrets of life or reveals great anecdotes that will stick with you for years to come. This is, however, a great piece of acting. I feel Streep did better in “Adaptation” and Moore did better in “Far From Heaven,” but this is still a shining example of how great the actresses are. There is always a complaint in Hollywood about a lack of good actresses, but this film and this entire year should prove the complaint to be in vain.
Disregarding the prosthetic nose, Kidman was able to transform herself into Woolf. I was blown away at what she was capable of doing. I mean, this is the actress that I hated in “Far and Away,” “Days of Thunder” and “To Die For.” Recently, she has proven herself to me as one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood with “The Others,” “Moulin Rouge” and now “The Hours.”
Moore, except for her role in “Hannibal,” is an exceptional actress. If you have not been able to see it because we live in this ‘film wasteland,’ go down to Denver and see “Far From Heaven.” Her performance there even outshines her great performance here in the “The Hours.”
Stephen Daldry, the director, has been nominated numerous times and the Oscar nominations have not even been given out yet. But the problem is, again I complain, that Julie Taymor has not been nominated and her work on “Frida” puts this directorial work to shame.
I hope you enjoy “The Hours.” I thought although slow and slightly dull in places, it is worth seeing. B.
Directed By: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris and John C. Reilly.
What You Need To Know: A shining example of brilliant acting.
Final Grade: B