Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning novel by Michael Cunningham, The Hours employs Virginia Woolf's classic novel and central character, Mrs. Dalloway, as its foundation and inspiration. Spanning three different eras, during one day, the film focuses on the parallel lives of three women joined in their depression, alienation, and search for love.
 

5
A most wonderful work of cinema.

The Hours is about a day in the life of three women in three different eras: Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) – in 1923, is feeling stifled living in an outer London suburb where her husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane) has taken her to find peace after terrible bouts of depression and a number of suicide attempts. She's beginning to write her first novel Mrs. Dalloway which is about a woman's whole life in a single day.


Then there's Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) a housewife in 1951 Los Angeles living a life she can't bear with a loving husband (John C. Reilly) and her young son Richie (Jack Rovello) who adores her and senses her desperation. She's reading Mrs. Dalloway.

And in contemporary New York Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is, just like Mrs. Dalloway, preparing for a party for her friend Richard (Ed Harris) who's just won a major poetry prize and is dying of AIDS. These three stories are interwoven exquisitely.

Director Stephen Daldry, working with a screenplay by David Hare with cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, editor Peter Boyle, and perfect music by Phillip Glass, not to mention the absolutely splendid cast, all of whom seem to be working at their absolute best, has created a film of such beauty about the significance of life, the hours that we live. It's moving and intelligent, a most wonderful work of cinema.