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The Hours
DVD disk
Oct 5, 2004 By: Indiana Sev
The Hours order
Director:
Stephen Daldry

Actors:
Meryl Streep
Julianne Moore
Nicole Kidman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A movie focusing on the turbulent lives of three women living in different times, all whose existence is somehow affected and similar to the works of Virginia Woolf, in particular “Mrs. Dalloway”. The women played by Nicole Kidman is Virginia Woolf herself.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If deep and depressing movies are your bag (as they are mine), then you should definitely make a place for THE HOURS in your collection, as it’s one goddamn gloomy film. That is not to say that it’s pessimistic necessarily, there is a somewhat sweet (bittersweet actually) message not to missed in the movie that makes it all worthwhile. What did this simple reviewer get from it? That we should all enjoy and treasure those moments and hours of pure bliss and happiness in our lifetimes because the rest is shit! This was my second viewing of the movie, so maybe I’m extra pessimistic, but as far as the characters and mood of the film go, I stick by that simple adage.

As the film moves forward and we follow the days of these three women and their slow respective unravelments, the idea of them being and feeling completely trapped and hopeless to the changes in their lives comes through loud and clear. Daldry’s brilliant direction, Philip Glass’ terrific score and the beyond brilliant performances by the women and men in THE HOURS makes those sentiments come through even more vividly. I was blown away by the sheer energy, pace and music of this film at the cinema, but it had the same effect on me, if not more, in the comfort of this tiny hovel I call my apartment. Don’t let my endless comments of the despair and misery within this film discourage you. It's actually just the kind of movie that is necessary to give some lucky viewer the kick in the ass they need to look at life in a different and hopefully better way. This will kick-start your heart, your brain and God willing...your life.
THE EXTRAS
Two sets of commentary tracks to begin with, one with Streep, Moore and Kidman and the other with director Daldry and novelist Michael Cunningham. The women’s tracks are separated, each one commenting over her own scene for the most part. In this case, it turned out well, making their comments scene specific, also allowing us to get all three of their points of view on the film and the performances, without interruption. The author’s and director’s track is more constant and extremely insightful, focusing on the technical aspects of the film as well as the heart and soul of the book and how it translated to the screen.

4 featurettes are also part of the package. The first, “Three Women”, is actually a little deceiving as the director speaks about the casting of the women and his experience shooting with them, as do the women. Daldry also goes on to discuss a few of the other actors, his technique and so on. It’s a very interesting 15-minute behind the scenes look at the film. Next up, “The Mind and Times of Virginia Woolf” a 24-minute mini-biography of Virginia Woolf. This is a fascinating watch for anyone who loved THE HOURS and doesn’t know jack about Woolf. Many experts tell the tale of her hard and eventful life. “ The Music Of The Hours” is a 7- minute feature that shows us how the sweet and sorrowful score of the film was born. A nice addition. Finally, “ The Lives of Mrs. Dalloway” has the author of The Hours discussing his admiration of the book Mrs. Dalloway with so much passion, this reviewer is actually considering giving it a read in the near future. Basically, book and script are talked about in another fine featurette. All four of these featurettes are excellent companion pieces to the film. A short 2-minute Filmmaker’s Introduction is also tacked on to set up the film. Throw in some previews and the theatrical trailer and you've got yourself a sweet set of extras.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
By the looks of the DVD cover and the sounds of the story, many people (mostly guys) will most likely skip this and rent THE RECRUIT instead. But if you want your Colin Farrell loving ass to experience a powerful journey and a perfect combination of masterful directing and acting, then rent or better yet, buy THE HOURS and get ready to think about life, life and another little thing called life. We all have to face it sometimes and that’s the essence of this film. Bring some tissues and an open mind.
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