NOW PLAYING

in theaters



new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Beauty vs. Beast

 

If you don't vote for Jack, he'll come after you with an axe
 
VOTE! 

 

Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
The BIG EYES Poster

"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in The Hours (13)

Monday
Mar312014

Women's History Month: Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf

Our Women's History Month posts, celebrating real actresses as real women conclude with abstew on Virginia Woolf & The Hours.

Virginia Woolf

Born: Adeline Virginia Stephen was born January 25, 1882 to Sir Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Duckworth Stephen in London, England. Her father was an author, historian, and critic while her mother was known for her beauty, even posing as a model for Pre-Raphaelite painters. 

stone-filled pockets and golden statues after the jump...


Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb232014

7 Days Til Oscar. Dallas Buyers Club & AIDS Pictures

Unless I've missed a random nomination somewhere -- and you may correct me gently in the comments if I have --  it occurs to me that Dallas Buyers Club is the seventh non-documentary motion picture with a prominent HIV/AIDS story to receive Oscar nominations. (There have been more films with supporting characters who were living with HIV, but these are the major films that are more focused on it*).

Oscar's history with this feature topic stretches back 23 years through one Best Picture nominee, a pre-McConaughey Best Actor, two foreign films, and 1990's Longtime Companion after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May142013

May Flowers? Mrs Dalloway Buys Them Herself!

How soon into a movie or book or anything do you know you'll love it? When I first read The Hours, Michael Cunningham's transcendent riff on Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" I knew as soon as Clarissa had entered the flower shop. With the film version I knew even sooner, perhaps having been prepped for the movie by the book but also because of the unfussy simplicity of the kick-off to this glorious triptych. (The Hours isn't always unfussy, of course, but note how the music drops out completely in this absolutely key moment when Virginia finds her first sentence.)

All we're left with is three women, three eras, three great actresses, and three separate temperaments. 

Virginia: Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Laura: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Clarissa: Sally, I think I'll buy the flowers myself. 

How utterly perfect and succinct - Art, uttered first in the imagination, is then received and contemplated, and finally lived-in and through, having made its mark. (It's a subtle thing but how beautiful that Stephen Daldry's camera pulls out a bit with each repetition, making more room in the world for the words)

"Mrs Dalloway", Virginia Woolf's masterpiece -- or one of them at least (I can't live without "Orlando") --  was first published 88 years ago on this very day!. The concept, a woman's whole life in a single day. And as the later book and film helpfully extrapolates and reminds us ... and in that day her whole life

I love the cut to Allison Janney's blunt exclamation, that pulls us out of this first sentence reverie before it gets to precious.

[to Clarissa] WHAT? What flowers?
[to Self] Shit.

Which  books do you wish would inspire not straight adaptations but spun off works of art that stand beautifully on their own? How soon did you love The Hours?

Previously in The Hours
Nathaniel talks to Nicole Kidman about her Oscar win
Joe & Nick discuss The Hours its kisses, hands, actresses and tics at length 

Monday
Jan212013

"I'm gonna make a cake. That's what I'm gonna do"

If you feel like Julianne Moore got short shrift in our 10th anniversary celebration of The Hours, check out this excellent piece on the actresses "insularity" by sometime TFE contributor David Upton at Victim of the Time.

Laura is possibly the most striking example of this [insularity] – much more self-aware than Far From Heaven’s Cathy Whitaker, and much softer and timid than Savage Grace’s Barbara Baekeland, Laura can often barely maintain the performance, often slipping sentences that reveal her true despair into otherwise guarded conversations. 

Moore’s voice is probably the most vivid part of her performance in The Hours; a soft, mousy whisper, wavering with indecision and reticence. When she puts on a front of confidence, it momentarily strengthens, a striking declaration of her uncharacteristic decisiveness – “I’m gonna make a cake. That’s what I’m gonna do.”

Read the rest @ Victim of the Time.

Saturday
Jan192013

"The Hours" Discussion Pt. 2: Score, Performance, Re-Casting

previously... Joe Reid and Nick Davis discussed fidgety hand acting and ravenous kisses in The Hours for it's 10th anniversary. We rejoin them for the second half of their conversation. - Nathaniel R


JOE REIDOH that Phillip Glass score. I'm with you, obviously. I actually did much of my writing with that soundtrack playing in the background in the year or two after The Hours, because I'm just that kind of impressionable. But beyond being beautiful and haunting music in its own right, it also immediately sets the mood of the urgently mundane which pervades the whole movie. Laura trying and failing and trying again to bake a cake. Virginia scrawling out a first sentence. Clarissa getting the flowers. The score is repetitive and plain but increasingly frantic. I could roll around in it, crumbs in the frosting and all. 

So not to get too common about it, but rather than risk ignoring the elephant in the room, let's get to evaluating and ranking those leading ladies, am I right? You mentioned some ambivalence about Julianne Moore's performance, and I think I read somewhere that you value Streep's work here quite highly? Feel like making some friends/enemies among the blog-reading populace?

Nick's answer and more provocative questions after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan182013

"The Hours" Discussion Pt. 1: Nervous Hands, Ravenous Kisses

[Editor's Note: for the centerpiece of our 10th anniversary celebration of The Hours, I asked Joe Reid and Nick Davis if they'd like to talk about the movie and it turned out they already had. A heretofore unpublished conversation. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did! - Nathaniel ]


JOE REID: Three (!) years ago, I had planned out an end-of-decade feature for my own blog, wherein I would converse about my favorite films of 2000-2009 with a selection of writer friends. The logistics of it got away from me, but I did manage to get started. One such conversation lost to history was with my fellow Film Experience Podcast panelist Nick Davis on the subject of The Hours. With the ten-year anniversary of The Hours upon us, I thought I'd dig up this abandoned reflection and let it see the light of day.

***

JOE: The Hours is absolutely on the list of movies from the past decade that I truly, unabashedly loved. I suppose there's something chromosomal about a movie starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore (and Toni Collette, and Allison Janney, and Miranda Richardson). But it's more than just watching all these fantastic actresses hand off scenes to each other for two hours. It's also the suicides and the repression!  

Of course, after signing you on to correspond with me on this entry -- and many thanks for that, by the way -- I checked up and found that your feelings on it were decidedly more ambivalent. Is this an "every time I watch it I feel differently about it" kind of thing, or is it always the same kind of mixed bag for you?

 As for me, while there are a BUNCH of aspects of The Hours I'm hoping we can touch on, for some reason, my most recent screening of the movie made me anxious to mention two things: kitchens and hands. I couldn't stop watching Nicole Kidman's hands, either when Virginia is gripping her pen with a desperately tight claw grip or deep inhaling those cigarettes. And Meryl Streep separating egg yolks as she's unraveling in her kitchen has always been a favorite image.

And that brings me to the whole kitchen thing...

kitchen melodrama and sapphic smooches after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan182013

Breakfast With... Clarissa, Virginia, and Laura

We begin our 10th anniversary celebration of The Hours, in the only logical place: morning rituals

Good morning ladies: Laura would like to sleep in, Virginia never sleeps, Clarissa sleeps fitfully

A woman's whole life in a single day. Just one day. And in that day, her whole life. 
-Virginia Woolf, The Hours

The central framing ambition of The Hours, is vocalized about 17 minutes in after the genius author Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) has written the first and soon to be rather famous sentence to (one of) her masterpiece(s) "Mrs. Dalloway." I'd liken it to that moment when the tea kettle starts whistling except that nobody is having tea. But, nevertheless the movie's three strands (1923, 1951, and 2001) have been simmering with, bubbling over and spilling into one another in Stephen Daldry's pot and we're definitely full steam. But first things first... what are our ladies having for breakfast?

Click to read more ...