The Hours - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hours Reviews

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½ April 3, 2017
Odd story. Good acting, but could have used more character elopement. Interesting twist at end. Leaves you cold. Lots of homosexuality.
February 13, 2017
"A woman's whole life in a single day. Just one day. And in that day her whole life."
February 10, 2017
Why bother engaging a beautiful actress like Nicole Kidman just to make look ugly?
February 6, 2017
As ambitious as The Hours is, the intense and tender emotions on display never suffer.
½ February 6, 2017
It would be unfair not to recognize The Hours for its considerable ambition. The screenplay is an adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize winning novel and unravels simultaneously across three distinct locations and time periods. It encompasses multiple interwoven plot lines, characters of conflicting motivation and has a penchant for recurrent thematic events. In fact, I can recall first watching the film on its release to DVD some 14 years ago and wondering if perhaps I was simply not yet old enough to appreciate the unique cadence of its interlocking story. Yet on revisiting the film as an adult, I must confess that the most pronounced change in my experience was an improved comprehension as to the causes for my initial coldness.
While I persist that The Hours should be applauded for its scope, this proves regrettably to be its undoing. Its scattershot mix of three separate protagonists across three divergent timelines never allows any one to be fully developed or understood. Likewise, the film dabbles in queer themes and subjectivity but brings these to no satisfying conclusion. Whilst all three female protagonists share some form of queer interaction with another character, these events are quickly forgotten and never revisited, making them seem token or a missed opportunity. This lacking detail in character and motivation can similarly confuse dialogue and cast relationships. Consider the scene where Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) and Louis Waters (Jeff Daniels) are recalling their relationships with the poet Richard Brown (played by Ed Harris). What spark in their relationship has left Streep's character so undone? Why has she continued to dote on him a decade on? Her emotional breakdown here, while admittedly well-acted, feels uncomfortably out of place when the only interaction we have had with Harris to this point has shown him to be a curmudgeonly, bullying and difficult figure. What trauma or mental unwell has forced Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) to such inescapable melancholy? How has she both abandoned her son and kept in touch in the intervening years? There exists a great narrative here, there may well be three. But without giving any one the room to breathe, all are equally suffocated.
Like its namesake novel, The Hours pays direct homage to famed feminist author Virginia Woolf, and in particular her 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway. In fact, Woolf herself appears as a major protagonist (played by Nicole Kidman) in what is undoubtedly the standout performance of the film. Reviewers will no doubt make a great deal of this literary pedigree and with good reason. Yet, having not read either novel, my persistent feelings of lacking context and missed understanding made me wonder as though they might be required reading. Perhaps they hold the missing plot points and character insights the film did not or could not afford me. Were this the case, I do not believe it unfair to admonish The Hours as a work unto itself - a film must function as a film first.
December 31, 2016
It's good movie to watch
½ August 23, 2016
A sensational adaptation supported by phenomenal performances. Kidman, Streep, and Moore proved to be the centerpiece of success as The Hours manages its complex plot line with excellence, presenting a fantastic drama.
½ August 5, 2016
July 27, 2016
If you like to see outstanding performances, you must see "the hours"
July 4, 2016
Perfect cast, perfect score, perfect plot, perfect direction. Absolutely perfect film.
July 1, 2016
Smartly written and stunningly acted.
February 2, 2016
Classic movie, classic soundtrack!
January 28, 2016
Nicole Kidman played the craziest woman you will ever want to see. She was scary crazy and I don't scare easy. Deserved the Oscar she received. The movie requires your attention when you watch or you won't understand what is going on.
½ January 9, 2016
A depressing movie where three ladies experience sadness and make poor life choices. They seam to bond over flowers, death, philosophical ponderings and writing.
December 30, 2015
This is a very good but also very upsetting movie.
½ November 14, 2015
Excellent performances from Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Ed Harris. A thought-provoking film in depicting the philosophical views of lives. Enlightening.
½ October 17, 2015
Why do people kill themselves? That is one of the central questions/themes that THE HOURS explores. Unfolding across three different time periods, this film tells the story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects different women who have had to deal with suicide (or suicidal thoughts) in their lives. It stars Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf (who wrote "Mrs. Dalloway"), Julianne Moore as Laura, and Meryl Streep as Clarissa. Virginia Woolf, who has some mental health issues, is mostly confined to a country home with her husband and writes "Mrs. Dalloway" as a way to cope with her situation. Laura is a 1950's suburban housewife who, despite her external appearance, is very unhappy with her boring life. And then there's Clarissa, who is in a committed lesbian relationship and is planning a party for her writer friend Richard, who is also dying of AIDS. All three women have similar stresses and one of the strong points of the film is the way it seamlessly moves between each time period while still telling a unified story. It also deals with some weighty themes that will give you a lot to ponder aside from the key issue of suicide. Among these are social pressures and expectations, selflessness versus selfishness, what makes a person happy, etc. The acting supporting these elements was also top-notch, as would be expected from the outstanding cast, and each of the three lead actresses gets a scene in which to shine. I should also mention Philip Glass' score, which I was actually familiar with prior to seeing the film. I felt like his music was perfectly suited to the material, accurately conveying the sense of isolation, melancholy, and ennui common to all three of the central characters. However, the film's structure is partly its undoing, although not disastrously so. A lot of the dialogue is pretty on-the-nose, and the juxtaposition of scenes basically tells the audience how they should interpret what they're seeing rather than let them figure things out on their own. Still, the repetition of key dialogue from different characters and using match cuts to transition between time periods was an effective way to unify the narrative, as well as provide needed continuity. When it comes down to it, THE HOURS is a very well-made and well-acted film that deals with heavy themes and emotions, even if in a slightly pretentious way. This isn't a film I can see watching that often, if even a second time, but the potential for discussion and/or self-assessment makes this definitely worth seeing.
July 25, 2015
A tour de force cast that made the 2 hour film seemed like minutes. A most powerful drama about three woman with identical needs but living decades apart. The social norms during the victorian era of Virginia Wolf, America in the 50s and New York in the 21st century meanīt that these 3 women who loved women must make different choices as dictated by society.
July 22, 2015
Very boring. I don't understand how an Academy award was won by Nicole Kidman. Maybe because they put a bunch of make up on her and she committed suicide in the movie!
½ July 13, 2015
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