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The Hours

Related: Virginia Woolf - Nicole Kidman - Julianne Moore - suicide

In 2002, The Hours, a film loosely based on Woolf's life and her novel Mrs. Dalloway, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It did not win, but Nicole Kidman was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Woolf in the movie. The film was adapted from Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1998 novel of the same name. The Hours was Woolf's working title for Mrs. Dalloway. Many Virginia Woolf scholars are highly critical of the portrayal of Woolf and her works in the film, and neither the film nor the novel should be considered as an accurate account or literary criticism of Mrs. Dalloway.

The Hours (2002) - Stephen Daldry
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Michael Cunningham's 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours uses some of Virginia Woolf's characteristic stylistic tools to intertwine a story of the Virginia who is writing Mrs. Dalloway with stories of two other women decades apart, each of whom is planning a party. The book was adapted into a 2002 film starring Nicole Kidman who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf.

2002 film

    Amazon review

    Delicate and hypnotic, The Hours interweaves three stories with remarkable skill: in the 1920s Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) grapples with her inner demons and slowly works on her novel Mrs. Dalloway; in 1949 housewife Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) feels her own destructive impulses; and in 1999 book editor Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep)--much like the title character of Woolf's novel--prepares to throw a party, in honor of her dearest friend, a seriously ill poet (Ed Harris). Small details reverberate from story to story as a powerhouse cast (including Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, John C. Reilly, Stephen Dillane, and Miranda Richardson) gives subtle and beautifully modulated performances. In the hands of director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), The Hours is almost more a piece of music than a story, and like music, it may move you in unexpected ways. --Bret Fetzer for Amazon.com


    # The Hours - Writer Virginia Woolf contemplates suicide while writing Mrs. Dalloway and eventually drowns herself in the river several years later. In 1949, one of the main characters, Laura Brown, reads Woolf's book and also - unsuccessfully - attempts suicide in order to escape her sense of suffocation. Fifty years later, Laura's son (who is dying of AIDS) kills himself by jumping from the window.

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