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The Hours

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I finally caught this one tonight, and for something that was nominated fr every oscar under the sun and hyped to hell and back, it wasn't all that amazing. It's easily the worst movie on the best picture list and there were tons of films this year that were better.


It was fairly good, however. Very very very "well made." Meaning that the acting, direction, score, editing, ect were top notch. The story itself though was nothing special. It centers around three stories. One is the story of Virginia Woolf (nicole kidman), famous writer who is going insane. She burdens her husband with her illness and leads a fairly shitty life. The other two stories are of women who live their lives in quiet desperation. One is an unhappy housewife in the 50's (julianne moore), who is reading "Mrs. Dalloway", Woolf's, most famous book, and the other is a woman planning a party (meryl streep), whose life parrallels the life of the character in the book. These women walk around and suffer. The most interesting story by far is Woolf's, followed by Moore's story, and Streep's trails at a distant third. One thing the movie does wrong is to assume that every time a woman appears unhappy, she is entirely justified and unable to do anything about it. We see women cry their eyes out in this movie, with a bit of backstory and purpose so we know what general subject they're crying about, but it never really lets us in to feel what they feel, leaving us as spectators to a trio of mid-life crises. We're left thinking "yeah, yeah, you're fucking sad, I GET IT."


There's plenty good to the movie though. THe cast is top notch, Kidman does indeed give an oscar worthy performance. Moore (the best cryer in hollywood for my money), and Ed Harris give great performances too. Everyone else is very good, good supporting cast including Jeff Daniels & Claire danes. The score is great too. It's Philip Glass, known for his haunting, repetative, circular melodies, really good stuff in this movie. It's also shot magnificently. Great angles, colors, each storyline has it's own great art direction. I can find no fault whatsoever in the visuals. Daldry is a fine director. If there is any fault in thie movie, it lay in the writing.


Yes, the writing. That's where it went wrong. Far too pretentious and heavy handed. Towards the end, characters are just spouting cheesy poetry. You never really connect with the characters, so it's really hard to take them seriously when they're testing your patience. Granted, the writing wasn't shit, it was OK, but way too flawed to be paired with such good acting and directing talent.


So yes, this was a pretty good movie. No, it's not best picture. It doesnt even belong on the list. "Far from heaven" (also feature Julianne morre as a 50's housewife) is a far, far better movie. Heck, most movies nominated for anything this year are better movies than this one. This movies was one big grab for some oscars. I could just imagine what such a great cast with a fine director would have done with an equally good script.

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