The Hours (film)

The Hours (film)

name = The Hours

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Stephen Daldry
writer = Michael Cunningham (novel)
David Hare
starring = Nicole Kidman
Julianne Moore
Meryl Streep
Ed Harris
John C. Reilly
Stephen Dillane
Miranda Richardson
Toni Collette
producer = Robert Fox
Scott Rudin
music = Philip Glass
cinematography = Seamus McGarvey
editing = Peter Boyle
distributor = Paramount Pictures (US)
Miramax Films (worldwide)
released = December 27, 2002
runtime = 114 min
country = United States
United Kingdom
language = English
budget = $25,000,000
gross = $108,846,072
amg_id = 1:272631
imdb_id = 0274558

"The Hours" is a 2002 film based on Michael Cunningham's 1999 Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning 1998 novel, "The Hours". The story is about three women of different generations and times whose lives are interconnected by Virginia Woolf's novel, "Mrs Dalloway".


All the action takes place within the span of one day as followed in three different time periods. Thus, Nicole Kidman portrays the renowned British author Virginia Woolf in a fictitious day of that author's life in 1923, the day that she decides to start writing her new book "Mrs. Dalloway" at her house in Richmond; Julianne Moore plays Laura Brown, a troubled housewife living in Los Angeles in 1951, on a day when she happens to begin reading Woolf's already published book "Mrs. Dalloway"; and Meryl Streep plays a woman who is a future embodiment of the Mrs. Dalloway created in Virginia Woolf's novel nearly eighty years before, a lesbian book editor living in New York in 2001 who spends her day on arranging the details of a party that she will host that night.

Miranda Richardson plays Virginia's sister, Vanessa Bell, while Stephen Dillane portrays her husband, Leonard Woolf. Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Ed Harris, Allison Janney, Jeff Daniels and John C. Reilly also star.

The film's screenplay was written by David Hare, and the film was directed by Stephen Daldry, with a soundtrack by Philip Glass.

One of the most acclaimed films of 2002, "The Hours" received many awards and award nominations. It won the 2003 and received nine Academy Award nominations. Kidman won both the and the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the film.


The plot for the film adaptation of "The Hours" stays remarkably true to the original novel. The main premises of the story can be taken from one of its lines uttered by Virginia Woolf, that of "a woman's whole life in a single day -- just one day -- and in that day, her whole life." This idea, also in Cunningham's novel, is taken from Virginia Woolf's real novel, Mrs. Dalloway. In that story Woolf imagined a woman whom the reader follows through a single day as she too makes arrangements for a party later that night.

The three distinct storylines are fragmented and edited to alternate repeatedly throughout the film's showing. In adapting it, the screenwriter David Hare managed to shape a thriller out of the novel's plot, leaving the film's audience to piece together the bonds that tie the story's three female protagonists.

Cast & crew

* 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
* George Loftus as Quentin Bell
* Charley Ramm as Julian Bell
* Sophie Wyburd as Angelica Bell
* Lyndsey Marshal as Lottie Hope
* Linda Bassett as Nelly Boxall
* Christian Coulson as Ralph Partridge
* Michael Culkin as Doctor
* John C. Reilly as Dan Brown
* Jack Rovello as Richie Brown
* Toni Collette as Kitty
* Margo Martindale as Mrs. Latch
* Colin Stinton as Hotel clerk
* Ed Harris as Richard Brown
* Allison Janney as Sally Lester
* Claire Danes as Julia Vaughan
* Jeff Daniels as Louis Waters


Box Office

"The Hours" received a limited release in both Canada and the USA on December 27, 2002 with a wider release on February 14, 2003 to capitalise on its Oscar nominations success, and its last international release was in Kuwait on November 18, 2003. With an estimated budget of $25,000,000 "The Hours" was a box office success with a total gross of $41,675,994 in the U.S.A. and Canada and $67,170,078 overseas, making a total of $108,846,072 worldwide, more than four times its budget. It was the 56th highest grossing film of 2002.


"The Hours" was well received by critics and has an 80% "fresh" rating on the prominent critics reviews site Rotten Tomatoes.

Quote box|align=right|width=25%|quote="...there are also some of them, who will never understand that picture. And I wouldn't call them fools, rather the lucky one, who have never experienced so much desperation, that these women have."|source=Polish reviewer Kinga Kozakiewicz [

The main praise for "The Hours" came in the form of its acting, specifically for Nicole Kidman, who with a prosthetic nose was barely recognizable in her role as Virginia Woolf. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote "Ms. Kidman, in a performance of astounding bravery, evokes the savage inner war waged by a brilliant mind against a system of faulty wiring that transmits a searing, crazy static into her brain." Indeed, Kidman went on to win both the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Actress and Oscar for Best Actress. In both ceremonies she was nominated alongside co-star Julianne Moore, who was nominated for "Far From Heaven", while Meryl Streep and Ed Harris received Golden Globe nominations (Streep in the same category as Kidman), and Julianne Moore and Ed Harris received Oscar nominations in the supporting actress and actor categories.

Not all reviews were positive. TIME Magazine’s Richard Schickel said:

Watching The Hours, one finds oneself focusing excessively on the unfortunate prosthetic nose Kidman affects in order to look more like the novelist. And wondering why the screenwriter, David Hare, and the director, Stephen Daldry, turn Woolf, a woman of incisive mind, into a hapless ditherer. [...] But this movie is in love with female victimization. Moore's Laura is trapped in the suburban flatlands of the '50s, while Streep's Clarissa is moored in a hopeless love for Laura's homosexual son (Ed Harris, in a truly ugly performance), an AIDS sufferer whose relentless anger is directly traceable to Mom's long-ago desertion of him. Somehow, despite the complexity of the film's structure, this all seems too simple-minded. Or should we perhaps say agenda driven? The same criticisms might apply to the fact that both these fictional characters (and, it is hinted, Woolf herself) find what consolation they can in a rather dispassionate lesbianism. This ultimately proves insufficient to lend meaning to their lives or profundity to a grim and uninvolving film, for which Philip Glass unwittingly provides the perfect score — tuneless, oppressive, droning, painfully self-important. [,9171,1101021223-400004-4,00.html]


* See The Hours (soundtrack).

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards:
* Nominated: Best Picture
* Win: Best Actress - Nicole Kidman
* Nominated: Best Supporting Actor - Ed Harris
* Nominated: Best Supporting Actress - Julianne Moore
* Nominated: Best Director - Stephen Daldry "'
* Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay - David Hare
* Nominated: Best Costume Design
* Nominated: Best Editing - Peter Boyle
* Nominated: Best Score - Philip Glass

Art Directors Guild:
* Nominated: Excellence in Production Design Award (Contemporary Films)

Berlin International Film Festival:
* Win: Silver Berlin Bear (Best Actress) - Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore
* Win: Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost" - Stephen Daldry
* Nominated: Golden Berlin Bear - Stephen Daldry

Boston Society of Film Critics:
* Win: Best Supporting Actress - Toni Collette

British Academy Awards:
* Win: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music - Philip Glass
* Win: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Nicole Kidman
* Nominated: Best Film
* Nominated: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep
* Nominated: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Julianne Moore
* Nominated: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Ed Harris
* Nominated: David Lean Award for Direction - Stephen Daldry
* Nominated: Best Screenplay (Adapted) - David Hare
* Nominated: Best Make Up/Hair
* Nominated: Best Editing - Peter Boyle
* Nominated: Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

Broadcast Film Critics Association:
* Nominated: Best Picture
* Nominated: Best Actress - Nicole Kidman
* Nominated: Best Acting Ensemble
* Nominated: Best Composer - Philip Glass

Casting Society of America:
* Win: Best Casting for Feature Film, Drama - Daniel Swee

Directors Guild of America:
* Nominated: Best Director - Stephen Daldry

GLAAD Media Awards:
* Win: Outstanding Film - Wide Release

Golden Globe Awards:
* Win: Best Picture, Drama
* Win: Best Actress, Drama - Nicole Kidman
* Nominated: Best Actress, Drama - Meryl Streep
* Nominated: Best Supporting Actor - Ed Harris
* Nominated: Best Director - Stephen Daldry
* Nominated: Best Original Score - Philip Glass
* Nominated: Best Screenplay - David Hare

Grammy Awards:
* Nominated: Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - Philip Glass

Las Vegas Film Critics Society:
* Win: Best Actress - Nicole Kidman
* Win: Best Supporting Actor - John C. Reilly

Los Angeles Film Critics Association:
* Win: Best Actress - Julianne Moore

National Board of Review:
* Win: Best Picture

Screen Actors Guild:
* Nominated: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Nicole Kidman
* Nominated: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Ed Harris
* Nominated: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role - Julianne Moore
* Nominated: Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture


External links


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