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Mrs. Dalloway is now in her sixties, but there are flashbacks to an earlier time, when she was a young woman being pursued by beaus. She has made her choices now and has married a cabinet member and leads a comfortable life as his charming wife. In her youth she rejected the suitor who looked for adventure in India as well as the tentative hint of a friendship with a woman, which might have gone further. When both of them show up at her party, her memories surface. There's also a sub-story of a young man who has been shell-shocked from combat in The Great War and the theme of suicide runs strong throughout the plot. Even though he and Mrs. Dalloway never meet, it is clear why this character was introduced. And it is also interesting to note that Virginia Woolf herself committed suicide in 1941 at the age of 59.
Casting is excellent, acting superb. Everything is understated but yet very very clear. I also loved the cinematography and the setting of a very proper London in 1923, especially the costumes. The theme is universal as we all do look back on our lives and wonder what might have been. Also, at only 97 minutes long, the video was exactly the right length. Definitely recommended.
Translating this novel to the screen requires that it be done by those who have a strong understanding and affection for the authors and her characters. Vanessa Redgrave is clearly one of those people and she commissioned Eileen Atkins to write the script so that she could play the title character. Atkins is a Woolf scholar who not only played the author in a one-woman stage piece but also wrote "Vita and Virginia," in which she and Redgrave played Woolf and her lover Vita Sackville-West. Atkins chooses to allow us only into the inner thoughts of Mrs. Dalloway, using voice-over narration to reveal the thoughts that she would never speak out loud. Those who have read the novel might not enjoy the film more than those who have not, since there are always limitations with bringing any literary masterpiece to the screen, but they will certainly understand it more, especially the first part of the film.
A strength of this 1997 film is how easily we accept that Natascha McElhone as the young Clarissa grows up to be Vanessa Redgrave's Mrs. Dalloway.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mrs. Dallaway was released in 1997. Vanessa Redgrave stars as a woman whoremembers her past, and wonders what might have been had she made different choices than she did in her... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This movie was just "Okay". I thought the story was a little hard to follow and chopped up. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joyce Browning
This movie wasn't as good as I had expected it to be.Published 15 months ago by Victoria L. Woitzel
Excellent film, helped to understand the novel. A wealthy woman who has nothing serious to think about except her annual party. Stuffy guests
represent Mrs. Read more