Film review

The Hours

OPENS FEBRUARY 14, CERT 12A, 114 MINS

Three stories about three women in three different times, linked by Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway, and by the shameless Oscar-grasping performances of the lead actresses—Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. Kidman even goes as far as wearing a deeply unflattering prosthetic nose for her turn as the brittle, unstable Woolf. In all fairness, she's extremely good—as are Moore as a 1950s housewife undergoing a quiet breakdown, and Streep in a contemporary story of a woman obsessed with her dying gay friend. And director Stephen Daldry cuts between these three stories with confidence and a visual fluidity that combines them in an elegant whole.

The problem is that so much of the film deals with unspoken inner turmoil that it's a rather cold and alienating experience. And there's an undercurrent of self-importance that occasionally surfaces—perhaps if the film-makers hadn't been so concerned with making a piece of art, they might have made a better film.

Rating: 4 / 10


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