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The Hours in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Hours

Meryl Streep • Nicole Kidman • Julianne Moore
DIRECTOR: Stephen Daldry

Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman THE CONCEPT:
Three eras, three stories and three women all joined together by the power of a great piece of literature, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway.

U.S. RELEASE: January 17 2003, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


MERLY STREEP (Clarissa Vaughan):
“I thought the book, The Hours, was beautiful. When my agent called me about the film I couldn’t imagine how they were going to make it into a movie, how so much of an interior world could be translated into a film. But when the script came to me, I thought it was really wonderful. David Hare has such a compassionate nature, and he’s a consummate wordsmith. David is able to express things deep inside people. He puts them in the situation and makes it actable. And I think that was what convinced me that The Hours would be an interesting project to work on.”

NICOLE KIDMAN (Virginia Woolf) on the fact that she’s unrecognizable in the movie:
: “For me as an actress it’s so important not to be attached to your physical being. So to be able to get lost within something and actually have people sit through a film and not recognize you is something that I find gratifying. I didn’t want to get caught up in, ‘I have to mimic Virginia Woolf, and try to be her.’ I wanted to just be true to the emotions that I felt she was experiencing, and it was strange how it fell into place.”

“I think being a mother in real life is what drew me to the role of Laura in the first place. I have a very close relationship with my little boy. In the movie Laura and her son are incredibly close. He’s the only person who can really see her, who really knows how she’s feeling. It’s almost a non-verbal relationship that you have with a child. They sense everything about you. Whatever you’re suffering, your child is going to suffer too, and that’s what’s so heartbreaking about this relationship to me. It’s incredibly tragic.”

: “It’s like three separate movies. I shot my part of it, then Julianne, then Nicole. It was really intense. It’s three different stories woven together, when you see it it’s very intricately woven, the ending is brilliant. I said to the producer, Scott Rudin, ‘You could cut this up many different ways, throw it up in the air and have a valid picture.’”

“It’s very interesting how characters come to you at a certain time in your life when you need them. I don’t think I was in my most fun-loving frame of mind at that time, and she was cathartic for me in a strange way. There is a beautiful line in the script about how the dead give up their gifts. And for me, Virginia gave me a gift. That’s what’s quite strange about the whole experience: At that time in my life, I needed her. I needed to play her.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Hours site
Images above © Paramount
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #627, February 2003 cover

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