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  Film Reviews: Life In A Day: The Hours  

Wednesday, February 26
Life In A Day: The Hours
At first glance, you might think that “The Hours” is one of those films that you’re supposed to think is good if you want all of your friends to think that you’re one of those sophisticated smarty-pants types. It’s got all the telltale signs: period scenes, Meryl Streep and a story line revolving around women. On top of that, the book that it is based on won The Pulitzer Prize. These are all the things that are usually strung together to make an unwatchable film that no one dares criticize lest they be called stupid for not understanding the true art of the film.

Despite all of these trappings, “The Hours” is really as good as it promises.

We follow three women throughout a single day of their lives. Virginia Wolfe on the day she begins Mrs. Dalloway; Laura Brown, a 50’s housewife on her husband’s birthday; Clarissa, a modern-day woman forever afflicted with the nickname “Mrs. Dalloway” by the very man that has spurned all of her party plans for the day.

For those not lucky enough to have been through many literature classes, Mrs. Dalloway holds some of the greatest themes in all of literature. First, Mrs. Dalloway is proof that everyone’s life is worthy of great literature. Secondly, Mrs. Dalloway shows that a person’s entire life is reflected throughout the actions of a single day – hour by hour, a life and all of it’s underpinnings and secrets play themselves out in the smallest actions, utterances and sighs.

In this film, the lives of Virginia, Laura and Clarissa are intertwined, showing a single day for each of them as it rolls through the hours.

Virginia Wolfe, tragically more infamous for her depression and suicide, is caught in her suburban existence trying to continue her writing career outside of London.

Laura Brown is living an idyllic 50’s suburban life that she knows she should want. She’s pregnant with her second child, her son adores her and her husband is simply happy to have this small life after the war.

Clarissa, the other Mrs. Dalloway, plans a party for her dear friend and former lover, Richard on the day that he is to receive a major poetry prize. She cares for Richard who is dying of AIDS all while maintaining a career, a relationship and a college-age daughter.

It is inevitable that as the hours pass, you will see where the fissures in each of these lives exist. For this is the truth in all of us – that as our lives progress hour by hour, there are those things that are hidden just below the surface waiting for the slightest nudge to rise and scream. There are hours that are more successful than others, but there are simply hours where these things must either be dealt with or one will find them taking over. The question becomes whether the hours will reveal a complacency to this sentence or if they will eventually reveal an escape.

The Usual:

What It’s Worth: Full-fare with time to spend discussing afterwards.

Annoying Theater Goer: This is a serious film, no wiseacre would dare attend!

Main Reason To See This Film: These are the most amazing performances by women in all of 2002.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: If you want to know what happens the next day to these women, you’re out of luck.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Nudity: No.

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