Mrs. Dalloway (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Virginia Woolf's difficult 1925 novel about a woman reflecting on choices made 30 years earlier is a smartly conceived, beautifully executed study of four intersecting lives in Edwardian England.
PG-13 (For emotional elements and brief nudity)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Vanessa Redgrave
as Clarissa Dalloway
Michael Kitchen
as Peter Walsh
Natascha McElhone
as Young Clarissa
Alan Cox
as Young Peter
John Standing
as Richard Dalloway
Amelia Bullmore
as Rezia Warren Smith
Lena Headey
as Young Sally
Rupert Graves
as Septimus Warren Smith
Sarah Badel
as Sally Seton/Lady Rosseter
Robert Portal
as Young Richard
Oliver Ford Davies
as Hugh Whitbread
Hal Cruttenden
as Young Hugh
Katie Carr
as Elizabeth Dalloway
Phyllis Calvert
as Aunt Helena
John Franklyn-Robbins
as Lionel, Clarissa's Father
Selina Cadell
as Miss Kilman
Robert Hardy
as Sir William Bradshaw
Margaret Tyzack
as Lady Bruton
Rupert Baker
as Joseph Breitkopf
Oscar Pearce
as Bookshop Assistant
Janet Henfrey
as Miss Pym
Polly Pritchett
as Nursemaid
Hilda Braid
as Elderly Woman
Derek Smee
as Man on Bench
Jane Whittenshaw
as 1st Woman by Fountain
Susie Fairfax
as 2nd Woman by Fountain
Fanny Carby
as Old Woman/Singer
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Critic Reviews for Mrs. Dalloway

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (10)

Director Marleen Gorris and screenwriter Eileen Atkins have done a remarkable job of suggesting the inner mental jumble Woolf strove to convey and constructing an exterior narrative of luminous beauty.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A highly romantic, deeply melancholy drama, the film offers psychological and existential insights about the inevitable effects - and price - of life choices.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Vanessa Redgrave is such a majestic screen presence -- so luminous and wise -- that even the stilted "Mrs. Dalloway" is hard-pressed to dim her radiance.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The first act will be perplexing for those unfamiliar with the novel, but Redgrave's performance steers us through, and by the end we understand with complete, final clarity what the story was about.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The movie doesn't offer hash; it is well ordered, beautiful, and clear. But it does what movies do, not what Virginia Woolf does.

December 31, 1999
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

he film adaptation of ''Mrs. Dalloway'' is as elegantly wrought and reflective as the material allows (which is to say that in this case, a trip to the library makes for an invaluable part of the experience).

December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Dalloway


I liked "The Hours" better, but this is a good movie. Its set in the period between WWI and WWII, and to me it seems Victorian, so realize that. Understand that it focuses on two people who don't know each other: Septimus a shell shocked veteran, and Clarissa an upper class housewife. Also understand that the movie jumps back and forth between the past and the present of Clarissa's life. If you understand that you will be understand the movie. Kind of a downer, but makes you think about what is important to people.

Brandon Stocks
Brandon Stocks

What did you expect from me? You know how much I love period pieces especially one that are particularly dull. Are reviewers swayed by the existence of corsets to continually rave about these pieces? Part of me thinks that is the case.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Mrs. Dalloway (1997) Mrs. Dalloway The Novel by written by Virginia Wolf. This film version of Mrs Dalloway was made in 1997 by Dutch feminist film director Marleen Gorris (maker 1 of my fave films- Antonia’s Line). It was adaapted from Woolf's novel by British actress Eileen Atkins and starred Vanessa Redgrave in the title role. Redgrave is Dalloway –hosting dinner parties which the main subject of the film. In Mrs. Dalloway all of the action, excepting flashbacks, takes place on a single day in June. It is an example of stream of consciousness storytelling; every scene closely tracks the momentary thoughts of a particular character. Very interesting British movie. Kudos go to all who participated in making this wonderful film. Vanessa Redgrave, as usual, is perfect as an aging dowager who settled for the "safe" path in life instead of seeking adventure and taking risks. When her old flame reappears, she reevaluates her choices and second-guesses the paths that she chose. The film also has a sub-plot about a shell-shocked World War I veteran who is in emotional torment and is inconsolable. The film works on two levels. It shows the interaction between proper British people who speak politely to one another, but the viewer senses that there are fierce and passionate undercurrents and important thoughts that seems to be unspoken. In addition, the film is a clear indictment of the stuffy and snobby British society of Post World War I England, in which a party could be of such importance that a person's reputation could hinge on its success. There is also a feminist slant in the movie. Can a woman who spends her time at home making parties and pleasing her husband ever feel fulfilled? Did Mrs. Dalloway make the right decision in "playing it safe" in life? That is up to the viewer to decide. Meanwhile, revel in the fabulous nuanced performances, the witty dialogue and the beautiful cinematography. This film is excellent.

dfw foreignbuff
dfw foreignbuff

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