The Hours - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hours Reviews

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November 1, 2017
You know what?s depressing? Watching three suicidal women who don?t do much to open up and express their pain, but bottle it until they?re ready to burst. That?s what The Hours is, just a series of scenes where we see women who are barely holding on (and a really terrible nose prosthetic.) I don?t want to diminish what this movie is depicting because I know, from experience, that this is real life for many women. However, this isn?t something I enjoy or find value in watching as a film. If it explored more of the reasons why these women were experiencing the dissatisfaction with life it might have meant more to me, but instead it wallows in their sorrow. The sad truth is that I kept expecting revelation. I anticipated a big moment where emotions would be poured out, and secrets would be expressed, and I would feel like there was a purpose to this whole thing. But it never came. The resolution of the story for all three characters was frustrating, and I felt utterly empty by the end of the film. The use of Mrs. Dalloway as the connecting thread was a strange idea, but it might have been more effective for me if I was familiar with the book. There is some good acting in the film, I was particularly impressed with the scenes between Meryl Streep and Ed Harris. I also must say, The Hours is effective at evoking an atmosphere and telling an engaging series of stories intercut with one another. Yet it is not a film I could ever see myself recommending to someone else because it is so deeply sad and hard to watch.
½ October 21, 2017
Great cast but, the story was dull, dreary, and boring to sum it up. Not sure how this won an Academy Award. I didn't find the story engaging or the characters
June 19, 2017
"There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult.

Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so." - Michael Cunningham

This is one of my all-time favourite movies.
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.
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