Tag Archives: virginia woolf

The Hours

The Hours: I read the book some time ago and had trouble following it, mostly because I was completely unfamiliar with Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. The movie, however, was far less of a challenge to follow, especially as the time jumps are clearly marked. The acting all around was good; it was especially interesting to see actors I’d seen in vastly different roles. For example, I’m most familiar with Toni Collette from her role in In Her Shoes, but she was gorgeous as the 1950s housewife Kitty. And between Pleasantville and his beautifully understated portrayal of Richard’s ex-lover in this film, Jeff Daniels has certainly come a long way since Dumb and Dumber.  Anyway, back to The Hours.  Unfortunately, the Big Secret connecting the three timelines wasn’t nearly as much of an “ah ha” moment as it was in the book. In fact, when I explained it to my husband his response was, “That still doesn’t help me.” In all, the film was decent but not very cohesive. The connections between the three timelines were tenuous at best, with Woolf’s own story almost completely unnecessary. Like the book, I probably would have appreciated it more were I more familiar with Woolf’s books.

Aside: the score by Philip Glass was rather distracting for me, as there were times when it sounded strikingly like “The Meadow” by Alexandre Desplat, the bit of the score that showed up on the soundtrack for New Moon. And this is definitely not a film you want in any way associated with Twilight.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours by Michael Cunningham: Sometimes I wish books came with reading prerequisites listed on the cover. There are very few novels with which one can assume the average person will be familiar. In The Hours, I suspect it would have been rather helpful to have first read Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Or be, you know, at all familiar with Woolf in the first place. Not that a quick skim of the Wikipedia plot summary wasn’t enough for me to understand the story, but I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it were I able to pick up on the subtle references to Woolf’s characters. All in all, I wasn’t too impressed with this one. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t really pull me in at all. I didn’t care much about the characters, the depressing bits felt meaningless, and the introspection was nothing I hadn’t heard before. I suspect I might enjoy a Cunningham novel not based on another book. I’m just not sure I’ll ever get around to picking one up.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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