Saturday, March 20, 2010
THE 100 BEST FILMS of 2000-2009:
FILM #6: "The Hours" (2002)
Based on Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize winning book, the film basically shows the effect of the novel 'Mrs. Dalloway' has on three women (including the author Virginia Woolf). A tremendous task in print but translated succinctly unto screen without as much as a glitch. As Woolf, Nicole Kidman transforms into a dowdy unrecognizable entity and delivers, through a scene at train-side, some stunning work. Julianne Moore's aesthetics works wonderfully as tormented 1950s housewife Laura Brown and then there's the peerless Meryl Streep as the modern woman who keeps everything together as Clarissa Vaughan. The acting is top notch, especially Ed Harris as Richard, a writer dying of AIDS.
Stephen Daldry directs the interconnecting scenes with such mastery and punctuates it all with a thrilling score by Phillip Glass. Armed with this juxtaposition the film demands a sort of intimate attention from viewers. It's all interlinked by several factors but the resonant point is that we all have surges of despair, hopelessness and even self-doubt. The sadness of how all three main characters deal with these personal tragedies can be heartbreaking but also one can choose happiness and carry on. A hard choice to be sure but one that is as vital as breath.