Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hours

Clarissa: Just to let you know, I am making the crab thing. Not that I imagine it makes any difference to you.
Richard: Of course, it makes a difference. I love the crab thing.
Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham, The Hours is a dense movie that interweaves three narratives: that of Virginia Woolf (Kidman) in the midst of writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923; that of Laura Brown (Moore) in the midst of reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1951; and that of Clarissa Vaughan (Streep) in the midst of living as Mrs. Dalloway in 2001. Both the book and the film address existential questions with which many people grapple: How do we spend the hours at our disposal? Are these hours paradise or prison, joyful hours spent with loved ones or empty hours endured with loneliness? Can we even choose which they will be?
In The Hours, as opposed to many other movies, food is not capable of healing pain or filling emptiness, for the great feast that Clarissa prepares for her friend, Richard’s (Harris), celebration has to be put aside because of an unexpected death. Not even her “crab thing” can ease the passing—some pain is too deep for food. Thus, the movie shows the feast only as it is being packaged up, the crab dish as it is being tossed into the trash. The shot at the beginning of the film of the large crabs crawling over one another in Clarissa’s kitchen sink is, however, quite memorable.

Released 2002
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Screenplay by David Hare, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham

Starring Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf, Julianne Moore as Laura Brown, Meryl Streep as Clarissa Vaughan, Stephen Dillane as Leonard Woolf, Miranda Richardson as Vanessa Bell, John C. Reilly as Dan Brown, Jack Rovello as Richie Brown, Toni Collette as Kitty, Ed Harris as Richard Brown, Allison Janney as Sally Lester, Claire Danes as Julia Vaughan, and Jeff Daniels as Louis Waters

Awards: 2003 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Kidman); 2003 BAFTA Film Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Kidman) and Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music (Philip Glass); 2003 Berlin International Film Festival Reader Jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost” (Daldry) and Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress (Streep, Kidman, and Moore); 2002 BSFC Award for Best Supporting Actress (Collette); 2003 Casting Society of America, USA Artios for Best Casting for a Feature Film, Drama; 2003 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film-Wide Release; 2003 German Film Award for Best Foreign Film; 2003 Golden Globes Award for Best Motion Picture-Drama and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Kidman); 2003 L.A. Outfest Screen Idol Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Streep); 2003 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Awards for Best Actress (Kidman) and Best Supporting Actor (Reilly); 2002 LAFCA Award for Best Actress (Moore); 2002 NBR Award for Best Film; 2003 WGA Award (Screen) for Best Adapted Screenplay (Hare); and many more

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