97 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Haunting, Beautiful, Sad, a monumental achievement,
This review is from: The Hours (DVD)
The writer of this film has achieved the impossible in the movie business: create an intruiging, beautiful, yet filmable version of a very untheatrical novel. And boy do they succeed.
The film focuses around three women, remarkably portrayed by Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.
Kidman is Virginia Woolf, whom is the key in the plot and a link between the other two characters. As she begins to write "Mrs. Dalloway," perhaps her most famous novel, we see events unfolding in a single day in the lives of two other women in different locations and time periods:
Pregnant Laura Brown, in a haunting, nearly silent performance by Moore mainly opposite a small boy, is coming to terms with the fact that she is miserable in her marriage to the humble and loving Dan (John C. Reilly). One of her only comforts is reading Virginia Woolf, in the film mainly "Mrs. Dalloway."
The third woman is Clarissa Vaughn, in a wonderful performance by Streep, whose link to Woolf is that she is actually living the novel "Mrs. Dalloway," except in present-day New York.
As the single day unfolds, the emotions and personalities of the characters are the main focus, much like in Woolf's novels, and the seamless edits and chilling Phillip Glass score contribute to the overall sad mood.
All in all, the transition from book to movie is highly successful and smooth, the performances are marvelous, and director Stephen Daldry proves once again how talented he is in his craft.
I can also provide evidence for those reading negative reviews: the short running time in one review is actually pushing two hours, and comments about "no plot" are made with little knowledge of Virginia Woolf; the plot is the character, and I was as entertained with this movie as any of the other critically hailed films this year.