Best in Show: Vanessa Redgrave
One for the future: Lena Headey
Stand-out scene: Balcony resolve of Mrs Dalloway
Brainer or no-brainer: Brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a
Perfect for a Saturday afternoon matinee (indeed the circumstances in which I watched it) as perhaps a double bill with The Hours, this British/American/Dutch production brings to life one of Virginia Woolf's most celebrated works. I tried to read To The Lighthouse last year but gave up after a few pages feeling unconnected to the characters and uninterested in the story, but seeing this (and having read and enjoyed her recently rediscovered lost Good Housekeeping short story) inspires me to give it another go. Having thoroughly enjoyed The Hours (although i've just discovered that Woolf was 59 when she died - an age Nicole Kidman looked nowhere near in the film) and devoured all the extras on the DVD i'd picked up that Mrs Dalloway was about a woman preparing to give a party. Enriched by the incorporation of elements of Woolf's real life (as was The Hours), this is a slow burner with a real emotional punch, Woolf evidently working through her suicidal tendencies by concocting fiction out of her real-life torments, although we should be careful not to assume that Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf by another name. Clarissa Dalloway is indeed preparing to throw a bash for hoorays and the suffocating social constraints of the day are examined effectively, with Vanessa Redgrave majestic in the title role.