The tale of three women struggling with their sexuality
"The Hours" is perhaps one of the deepest films portraying life through a woman's perspective that has ever been made. The story is essentially about three woman played by Julianne Moore (Laura Brown), Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf), and Clarissa Vaughn (Meryll Streep), whose lives are almost parallel in life involving a lot of self recollection, love, and choices between life or death. I found the brilliant direction of this film to be fantastic as well as the epic screenplay and captivating performances by our three heroines; Ed Harris and Jeff Daniels weren't too shabby either. However, I wouldn't classify Nicole Kidman as the main actress in this film, though, (like the Academy Awards did), but it's still remains a very powerful film. "The Hours" is definitely a film about life.
The screenplay for this film is written very uniquely, in similar fashion to a la "Lord of the Rings: Two Towers", where the story shifts between each character's story. Virginia Woolf's story, played by Nicole Kidman, is based on the life of the real life historically known author, herself. She's essentially a struggling author that has just recently lost her mind in the big city life and tried to kill herself. However, Virginia's husband stops her and decides to move him and his wife, Virginia, to the country side. Unfortunately, Virginia finds herself feeling trapped within the confines of the country and wishes for the life of the city, once again. To make matters even more complex, Virginia falls in love with another woman, but they're restricted to from revealing their feelings to each other because they're both afraid of what might happen. All these tragic struggles and lies, eventually, end up becoming Virginia's tragic end. Meanwhile, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), seems to have a normal life in the 1950's, but things aren't really as pleasant as they seem. Laura starts her story preparing a cake for her husband's birthday with their son. We soon discover that Laura has been secretely harboring feeling for another woman, but she's unable to persue her feelings because of her loyalty to her family. Laura soon becomes caught up in array of confusion that eventually leads her to try to take the easy way out of her predictment. Several years later, Laura's son, played by Ed Harris, has been infected by a severe case of AIDS. Fortunately, though, his girlfriend, Clarissa Vaughn (Meryll Streep) has been taking care of him. Clarissa tries to do everything to make Ed want to live, but she soon finds out that there's more to her problem than meets the eye. Clarissa has been harboring her feelings for, "gasp" another woman (I'll bet you never saw that coming; lol), but is unable to confess her feeling because of the tremendious guilt she would feel if she abandoned her boyfriend in his hours of need. I think the screenplay for this film tells a story of life and the three ways in which you can go by. You either choose to die, run away, or choose to live your life the way you want, so it's no wonder why this film was so highly appraised.
I thought the performances for this film were great as well. The actors did such a great job capturing the essence of the characters, so you never got bored. Ed Harris plays a very captivating character that has put up with so many issues in his life, and recollects on his true value in the world. Mery Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman did a great job portraying three women that have had to put up with so many obstacles in their lives, and their ultimate decisions that will decide their fate.
I think the direction for this film was done rather superbly by setting the tone and theme of each story so well that each story builds off the other, and thus allowing even more deeper substance.
"The Hours" portrays aspects of all life. With great performances, directing, and story telling who wouldn't love this movie. Overall, I highly recommend this. "The Hours" tells a very story or stories that portrays life through a woman's perspective.