AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Hours
Director: Stephen Daldry (Dir)
Release Date:   27 Dec 2002
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 15 Dec 2002
Production Date:   late Jan--early Apr 2001; addl shooting Jan 2002 at Pinewood Studios, London
Duration (in mins):   110-111 or 114-115
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Cast:   Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf)  
    Julianne Moore (Laura Brown)  
    Meryl Streep (Clarissa Vaughan)  
  1923 Stephen Dillane (Leonard Woolf)  
    Miranda Richardson (Vanessa Bell)  
    George Loftus (Quentin Bell)  
    Charley Ramm (Julian Bell)  
    Sophie Wyburd (Angelica Bell)  
    Lyndsay Marshal (Lottie Hope)  
    Linda Bassett (Nelly Boxall)  
    Christian Coulson (Ralph Partridge)  
    Michael Culkin (Doctor)  
  1951 John C. Reilly (Dan Brown)  
    Jack Rovello (Richie [Brown])  
    Toni Collette (Kitty [Barlow])  
    Margo Martindale (Mrs. Latch)  
    Colin Stinton (Hotel clerk)  
  2001 Ed Harris (Richard Brown)  
    Allison Janney (Sally Lester)  
    Claire Danes (Julia Vaughan)  
    Jeff Daniels (Louis Waters)  
    Eileen Atkins (Barbara in the flower shop)  
    Carmen DeLavallade (Clarissa's neighbor)  
    Daniel Brocklebank (Rodney)  

Summary: In 1941 Sussex, England, after author Virginia Woolf writes notes to her husband Leonard and sister Vanessa, she walks to a nearby river, places a heavy stone in her coat pocket, then wades into the river and drowns herself. As housewife Laura Brown awakens in 1951 Los Angeles, her husband Dan is preparing breakfast while Laura lingers in bed and begins reading a new book, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. In 2001 New York City, Sally Lester returns home early in the morning and slips into bed with her partner, book editor Clarissa Vaughan. Clarissa is awake but says nothing and shortly afterward rises, for that evening she is throwing an elaborate party for her best friend, Richard. In 1923 Richmond, England, Virginia joins Leonard in their dining room, but evades his concerned inquiries over whether she has eaten and instead reveals that she believes she has an opening line for a new book. Fearful that the demands of working might unsettle Virginia, who has long suffered from severe depression, Leonard nevertheless approves of her spending the day writing as long as she promises to eat lunch. Virginia retires to her study where she writes the opening line of a book revolving around a single day in the life of character Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party. Laura, who is five months pregnant, reluctantly leaves her book to join Dan and their son Richie for breakfast and is chagrined to see that Dan has bought her flowers even though it is his birthday. After Dan departs for work, Laura tells Richie that she intends to spend the morning baking Dan a birthday cake. Clarissa begins preparations for her party, stopping at a flower shop run by her friend Barbara who asks after Richard. Clarissa explains that the party is in honor of Richard receiving a prestigious literary prize for his poetry. Barbara mentions having read Richard’s single novel, a lengthy and difficult tome that clearly features Clarissa, then asks if it is purely fiction. Clarissa admits that the book has connections to true events, but Richard has made them his own. After selecting flowers for the party, Clarissa takes a bouquet to Richard’s warehouse loft apartment. Richard, who is debilitated by AIDS, welcomes Clarissa, affectionately calling her by his long-used nickname for her, “Mrs. Dalloway.” When Clarissa fusses over whether Richard has eaten breakfast, he abruptly explodes into anger about the literary award, suspicious that he is being honored out of pity. Clarissa makes light of the ceremony, but Richard chides her for constantly throwing parties to cover the emptiness in her own life. Richard confesses to feeling that he has failed as a writer to capture the essence of life. He then reminds Clarissa of a time long ago when they were young and shared a kiss on a beach and asks her what she wanted of life. He asks if she would be angry if he died and presses to know for whom she is really throwing the party, concluding that he has remained alive this long only to satisfy her. Annoyed, Clarissa insists that people must remain alive for one another, but Richard reveals he has no wish to continue living in a continual state of dependence and warns her that once he has died, Clarissa must face her own life. Virginia is annoyed by an interruption from Nelly Boxall, the cook, who has come at Leonard’s behest to inquire about lunch. When Virginia later reminds Nelly that her sister Vanessa and her three children will be coming to tea and states that she wishes the children to have ginger, Nelly protests that she will have to go to London to buy some. As a vexed Nelly departs, Virginia observes that it would be delightful to make a trip to London. As Laura gathers the cake ingredients, Richie, sensing his mother is inexplicably deeply distracted, assures her that baking a cake is not very difficult. Laura agrees and with forced brightness tells her son that she is making the cake to show Dan that she loves him. After the cake is completed, Laura is considering its lopsided sloppiness with disappointment when she is interrupted by a visit from her friend Kitty Barlow. Kitty laughs at Laura’s ineptness in the kitchen and Laura admires Kitty’s ease with people and her healthy marriage. As the women sip coffee, Laura observes that war veterans like their husbands deserve the security and happiness of a stable home. Noting Kitty’s increasing unease, Laura prompts her to confide that she is checking into the hospital that afternoon for surgery because a growth has been discovered on her uterus. After Kitty confesses her fear of the surgery and its implications, Laura comforts her and, embracing her, kisses her on the lips. Kitty thanks Laura for her sweetness and departs. Unsettled, Laura is annoyed to find Richie staring at her, then goes into the kitchen, where she throws away the cake. When Vanessa and the children arrive an hour and a half early, Virginia anxiously goes out to welcome them. Later, the children find an injured bird and Vanessa tells them the creature is near death and must be allowed to die. The children decide to give the bird a funeral, but when the boys grow restless, Vanessa romps with them while Virginia accompanies her niece in a ceremony, laying flowers around the tiny bird's body. Laura lies in bed deeply depressed, then abruptly rises to tell Richie that they will make another, better cake, then afterward take a drive. As Clarissa’s party preparations grow more frenzied, she is interrupted by the unexpected early arrival of Richard’s ex-boyfriend, college professor Louis Waters, who has flown in from California. After Clarissa warns Louis that Richard has been much altered by the disease, Louis reveals he has read Richard’s novel. Clarissa agrees that the book is difficult, but defends it and his decision to kill off the mother figure abruptly. When Louis admits he returned to visit the summer house in which he, Richard and she once lived, Clarissa admires his courage in facing the past. Louis is startled when Clarissa then collapses into tears and struggles to convey her sense of doom and feelings of being stuck in the past. In an effort to comfort Clarissa, Louis acknowledges that he only felt free once he broke up with Richard. After Laura finishes baking a second cake, she leaves the reluctant and crying Richie with his baby sitter, then checks into a hotel room. Sitting on the bed, Laura, contemplating suicide, lays a number of pill bottles on the bedspread, then reads more of Mrs. Dalloway . A little later, Laura considers her unborn child and in a moment of desperate struggle, realizes that she cannot kill herself. While Vanessa and the children chatter over tea, Virginia decides not to have Mrs. Dalloway die in her book. Vanessa chides her sister’s absentminded behavior then prepares to leave with the children. Suddenly saddened and envious of Vanessa’s active London life, Virginia hugs her sister and kisses her fiercely on the mouth, and guiltily, Vanessa bids her sister farewell. After Louis departs, Clarissa’s daughter, nineteen-year-old Julia, arrives to help with the party and is disconcerted when Clarissa admits that only when she is with Richard does she feel alive. Clarissa then describes how years earlier, while spending a day at the beach with Richard, she experienced true happiness and was certain the moment signified the beginning of a lifetime of happiness. She says she has since realized that that moment was the high point of her life. Virginia surreptitiously slips out of the house, avoiding Leonard in the garden. When Leonard learns from Nelly that Virginia has departed, he races off, alarmed, to the village. Finding Virginia at the train station, Leonard demands that she return home, but Virginia refuses, adamantly declaring her sense of imprisonment in Richmond. When Virginia decries languishing in the country when she longs for the clamor of London, Leonard reminds her of her long history of mental illness, of her two previous suicide attempts and admits that he fears her illness will return. Virginia maintains that it is her right to live as she chooses and acknowledges that she too lives with the specter of her own death. When she emotionally declares that given a choice between Richmond or death, she chooses death, Leonard agrees to move back to London. Laura picks Richie up and is uneasy as her young son appears to understand her unspoken intentions at the hotel. Richard looks at a wedding picture of his mother, Laura, recalling that day long ago when she retrieved him from the babysitter's home. Clarissa returns to Richard’s place earlier than planned and finds him in a heightened state of anxiety, pulling the shades off all of his windows. When Richard states that he cannot make her party, Clarissa grows panicked and assures him that he is not expected to receive the award or come to the party. Richard points out that after the event there would still be the empty hours of life to face. Desperate, Clarissa insists that he still has good moments ahead, but after recalling their past happiness, Richard thanks her for her love and throws himself out the window. At dinner, Dan thanks Laura for a perfect day and, as she listens uneasily, tells Richie how thoughts of Laura got him through his days as a soldier in the South Pacific. After dinner, Leonard asks Virginia why someone must die in her new book and she responds it is so that others may value life more and announces that the visionary poet will be the character to die. As Dan waits in bed, Laura sits in the bathroom, struggling to compose herself. Dan mentions learning about Kitty’s operation from her husband and Laura confesses her concern, then forces herself to go out to her husband. At the apartment, Sally and Julia help Clarissa clear away the party food when an elderly Laura arrives at the door, after having been informed of Richard’s death by Clarissa. Laura tells Clarissa how difficult it is to outlive one’s children, then admits she read her son’s book and was hurt that he killed her character, although she understands why. When Clarissa points out that Laura abandoned Richard when he was a child, Laura explains how years ago she made a decision after the birth of her second child that she would leave her family and has never regretted it. She describes her life as a housewife and mother as death and asserts that she chose life. Moments later, Clarissa retires and is joined by Sally, who comforts her, and the women kiss. Virginia writes to Leonard about the beauty of facing life, loving it and knowing when to put it away, and thanks Leonard for all the hours of their mutual love. 

Production Company: Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
Production Text: A Scott Rudin/Robert Fox Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp. (A Viacom Company)
Director: Stephen Daldry (Dir)
  Nick Heckstall-Smith (1st asst dir)
  Martin Harrison (1st asst dir)
  Stephen Lee Davis (1st asst dir, U.S. unit)
  George Walker (2d asst dir)
  Jennifer Truelove (2d asst dir, U.S. unit)
  Kellie Jo Tackett (2d asst dir, U.S. unit)
  Ken Bates (2d unit dir, U.S. unit)
  Ben Howard (3rd asst dir)
  Peggy Jean Robinson (2d 2d asst dir, U.S. unit)
Producer: Scott Rudin (Prod)
  Robert Fox (Prod)
  Mark Huffam (Exec prod)
  Marieke Spencer (Assoc prod)
  Ian MacNeil (Assoc prod)
Writer: David Hare (Scr)
Photography: Seamus McGarvey (Dir of photog)
  Philip Sindall (Cam op)
  Steven Drellich ("B" cam op, U.S. unit)
  Gary Shlifer ("B" cam op, U.S. unit)
  Carlos De Carvalho (Focus puller)
  Julian Bucknall (Focus puller)
  Pete Batten (Focus puller)
  Sophie Wilson (Film loader)
  Jennifer Paddon (Film loader)
  Anthony Savini (Film loader, U.S. unit)
  Agnes Rodriguez (Film loader, U.S. unit)
  Lee Walters (Chief lighting tech)
  John Higgins (Chief lighting tech)
  James P. Dolan (Chief lighting tech, U.S. unit)
  Roy Branch (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Peter McEntyre (Asst chief lighting tech, U.S. unit)
  Gary Ryan (Asst chief lighting tech, U.S. unit)
  Gavin Walters (Asst chief lighting tech, U.S. unit)
  Clive Coote (Still photog)
  John Bowman (Video assist)
  Daniel Salk (Video assist, U.S. unit)
  John Freeman (Video assist, U.S. unit)
  John Robertson (Chief rigging elec)
  Brian Pickett (Asst chief rigging elec)
  James Knox (Asst chief rigging elec)
  Kevin Edland (Rigging elec)
  Paul William Stewart (Rigging elec)
  Neil Munro (Rigging elec)
  Mark Hutton (Rigging elec)
  Vince Madden (Rigging elec)
  Stephen Mathie (Elec)
  Paul Sharp (Elec)
  Paul Harris (Elec)
  Toby Flesher (Elec)
  Anthony Burgess (Elec)
  Tony Burns (Elec)
  Adam Lee (Elec)
  Eugene Grobler (Elec)
  Ricky Pattenden (Elec)
  Steve Pattenden (Elec)
  Glynis Burke (Elec, U.S. unit)
  John Coffen (Elec, U.S. unit)
  Jason Barfield (Elec, U.S. unit)
  Barry J. Ryan (Elec, U.S. unit)
  Gary Hutchings (1st company grip)
  John P. Dolan (1st company grip, U.S. unit)
  John Gregory Kasper (1st company grip, U.S. unit)
  Rory Walsh (2d company grip, U.S. unit)
  Martin Duffy (Grip)
  Robert Hooker (Grip)
  Robert Betts (Grip)
  Terence Meadows (Grip)
  Sean Malone (Grip, U.S. unit)
  Mike Oates (Dolly grip, U.S. unit)
  James L. Green (Dolly grip, U.S. unit)
  Larry McConkey (Steadicam op, U.S. unit)
  Michael P. McGowan (Steadicam op, U.S. unit)
  Steven D. Search (1st asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Stanley Fernandez Jr. (2d asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Larry Huston (Steadicam/1st asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Paul Krumper ("B" 1st asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Brian Williams ("B" 1st asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Marvin Lee ("B" 2d asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Anthony P. Zibelli ("B" 2d asst photog, U.S. unit)
  Francois Duhamel (Still photog, U.S. unit)
  Mike Valentine (Underwater cam op, U.S. unit)
Art Direction: Maria Djurkovic (Prod des)
  Mark Raggett (Supv art dir)
  Nick Palmer (Art dir)
  Judy Rhee (Art dir, U.S. unit)
  Stelios Polychronakis (Asst art dir)
  John Nyomarkay (Asst art dir, U.S. unit)
  Richard Fojo (Asst art dir, U.S. unit)
  Joanna Foley (On-set art dir)
  Benjamin Conable (Art dept coord, U.S. unit)
  Alexa Marino (Art dept coord, U.S. unit)
  Martin Asbury (Storyboard artist)
  Jane Clarke (Storyboard artist)
  Al Johnson (Storyboard artist, U.S. unit)
  Daniel May (Draftsperson)
  Emily Lutyens (Art dept asst)
Film Editor: Peter Boyle (Film ed)
  Stephen Boucher (Asst ed)
  Julius Gladwell (Asst ed/Avid)
  Geraint Huw Reynolds (Asst ed)
  Stephen Maguire (Asst ed)
  Stefna Borges (Negative cutter, U.S. unit)
  Cutting Edge (Negative cutter, U.S. unit)
  Salon (Ed equipment provided by, U.S. unit)
Set Decoration: Philippa Hart (Set dec)
  Harriet S. Zucker (Set dec)
  Barbara Peterson (Set dec)
  Harriet S. Zucker (Set dec, U.S. unit)
  Barbara Peterson (Set dec, U.S. unit)
  Alan Bailey (Prop master)
  Andy Lassman (Prop master, U.S. unit)
  Charlie Guanci Jr. (Prop master, U.S. unit)
  Paul Weathered (Asst prop master, U.S. unit)
  Mike Cuddy (Props storeperson)
  David Fisher (Chargehand props)
  Terry Ennis (Props)
  Ron Higgins (Chargehand dresser)
  Jason Hopperton (Dressing props)
  Alan David Briant (Dressing props)
  Danny Evans (Dressing props)
  David 'Ned' Kelly (Chief carpenter)
  Leigh Chesters (On-set carpenter)
  Michael Webb (Chief stagehand)
  Michael Gunner (Chief painter)
  David Thompson (Painter)
  Alan Chesters (Const mgr)
  John C. Jackson (Const coord, U.S. unit)
  Michael Metzel (Const coord, U.S. unit)
  James Harris (Const foreperson, U.S. unit)
  Douglas Fecht (Set dresser, U.S. unit)
  Francisco Torres (Set dresser, U.S. unit)
  Richard Kruder (Set dresser, U.S. unit)
  J. Benjamin Wolcott (Set dresser, U.S. unit)
  Mark Dane (Lead person, U.S. unit)
  Guido DeCurtis (Lead person, U.S. unit)
  Robert Kopp (Greensperson, U.S. unit)
Costumes: Ann Roth (Cost des)
  Sue Gandy (Asst cost des)
  Michelle Matland (Asst cost des)
  Lindsay Pugh (Cost supv)
  Mark Sutherland (Ward master)
  Justine Warhurst (Ward asst)
  Jenny Hawkins (Ward asst)
  Iris H. Lemos (Ward supv, U.S. unit)
  Ellen Mahlke (Ward supv, U.S. unit)
  Suzanne Pettit (Cost, U.S. unit)
  Lynette Bernay (Set cost, U.S. unit)
  Sue Salzano (Set cost, U.S. unit)
  Valerie Fusaro (Set cost, U.S. unit)
Music: Philip Glass (Mus)
  Tony Lewis (Mus ed)
  Kurt Munkacsi (Orig soundtrack prod)
  Michael Riesman (Orig soundtrack prod)
  Nick Ingman (Mus cond)
  John Bradbury (Orch leader)
  Isobel Griffiths (Orch contractor)
  Nico Muhly (Mus score coord)
  Global Music Services (Mus preparation)
  Jonathan Allen (Mus rec and mixed by)
  Abbey Road Studios (Mus rec and mixed at)
Sound: Warren Shaw (Supv sd ed)
  Jacob Ribicoff (Assoc supv sd ed)
  David Crozier (Sd mixer)
  Tony Dawe (Sd mixer)
  Gary Alper (Sd mixer, U.S. unit)
  Daniel Ward (Asst sd ed)
  Andrew Kennedy (Sd eff ed)
  Matt Grimes (Sd eff ed)
  Nina Hartstone (Dial ed)
  Robert Ireland (ADR ed)
  Michael Redfern (Foley ed)
  Richard Fettes (Sd ed)
  Robin Quinn (Asst sd ed)
  Conor Mackey (Asst sd ed)
  John Warhurst (Asst sd ed)
  Jed Loughran (Asst sd ed)
  Clare Mahoney (Foley artist)
  Ricki Butts (Foley artist)
  Ray Merrin (Re-rec mixer)
  Graham Daniel (Re-rec mixer)
  Adam Daniel (Re-rec mixer)
  Lee Dichter (Re-rec mixer)
  Grant Maxwell (Re-rec mixer)
  Ken Hahn (Re-rec mixer)
  Lyle Scott-Darling (Re-rec asst)
  Shepperton Film Studios England, U.K. (Re-recorded at)
  Digital Cinema, LLC (Addl sd services provided by)
  Sound One Corp, NY (Addl sd services provided by)
  John Casali (Boom op)
  Marc-Jon Sullivan (Boom op, U.S. unit)
  James Harris (3rd person sd)
  Kevin Cerchiai (Cable person, U.S. unit)
  Julian Pinn (Dolby sd consultant, U. S. unit)
Special Effects: Stuart Brisdon (Spec eff supv)
  Jim Lillis (Spec eff coord, U.S. unit)
  Double Negative (Visual eff, U.S. unit)
  Richard Briscoe (Visual eff supv, U.S. unit)
  Matthew Plummer (Visual eff prod, U.S. unit)
  John Weller (Spec eff supv rigger, U.S. unit)
  Tony Moore (Spec eff diving rigger, U.S. unit)
  Charlie Muspratt (Spec eff rigger, U.S. unit)
  Malcolm Wilson (Spec eff rigger, U.S. unit)
  Momoco @ Maguffin (Main title des, U.S. unit)
  Cine Image (Opticals, U.S. unit)
Make Up: Ivana Primorac (Makeup and hair supv)
  Peter Owen (Wigs by)
  Conor O'Sullivan (Prosthetic makeup des)
  Jo Allen (Prosthetic makeup des)
  J. Roy Helland (Ms. Streep's hair and makeup by)
  Elaine Offers (Makeup for Ms. Moore)
  Edward St. George (Hairstylist for Ms. Moore)
  Alan D'Angerio (Hairstylist for Ms. Moore)
  Paul Engelen (Makeup for Ms. Kidman)
  Kerry Warn (Hairstylist for Ms. Kidman)
  Nuala Conway (Makeup and hair asst)
  Paul Gooch (Makeup and hairstylist asst)
  Sarah Astley (Makeup and hairstylist asst)
  Stuart Conran (Prosthetic tech)
  Robin Schoonraad (Prosthetic tech)
  Stuart Sewell (Sculptor)
  Eva Polywka (Key makeup artist, U.S. unit)
  Peg Schierholz (Key hairstylist, U.S. unit)
Production Misc: Daniel Swee (Casting)
  Patsy Pollock (Casting)
  Louis Elman (ADR voice casting)
  Heather Baird (US casting assoc, U.S. unit)
  Shaheen Baig (U.K. casting assoc)
  Jo Burn (Unit prod mgr)
  Michael Dreyer (Unit prod mgr)
  James Bigwood (Unit prod mgr, U.S. unit)
  Gary Pickering (Unit mgr)
  James Rickard (Unit mgr)
  Sandra Frieze (Dial coach)
  Angela Noakes Wharton (Scr supv)
  Sarah Lee (Loc mgr)
  Angus More Gordon (Loc mgr)
  Patricia Weber Sones (Loc mgr, U.S. unit)
  Elizabeth A. Elwell (Loc mgr, U.S. unit)
  Joaquin D. Prange (Asst loc mgr, U.S. unit)
  Sherrill Mann (Asst loc mgr, U.S. unit)
  Lars Knudsen (Exec asst to Mr. Rudin)
  J. A. Holden (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Chris Cussen (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  John Rickard (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Ben LeClair (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Charles Parlapanides (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Kevin Walsh (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Susie Lewis (Asst to Mr. Fox)
  Clarissa Newman (Asst to Mr. Huffam)
  PMK/HBH Public Relations (U.S. pub)
  McDonald & Rutter (U.K. pub)
  Sarah Clark (Unit pub)
  Lori Roberts (Paramount financial representative)
  Judy Ducker (Prod buyer)
  Debbie Brodie (Food stylist)
  Virginia Murray (Prod coord)
  Mel Claus (Prod coord)
  M. J. Magbanua (Prod coord, U.S. unit)
  Elayne Keratsis (Prod coord, U.S. unit)
  Lori Machens (Post prod coord)
  Imogen Stringer (Asst prod coord)
  Victoria Morgan (Asst prod coord)
  JoAne Baptiste (Asst prod coord, U.S. unit)
  Simi Wein (Asst prod coord, U.S. unit)
  Kweku Abdullah (Prod asst, U.S. unit)
  Cary Jones (DGA trainee)
  Andy Hennigan (Prod auditor)
  Tina Ellis (Asst auditor)
  Phil Allchin (Transportation capt)
  William K. Gaskins (Transporatation capt, U.S. unit)
  Vincent R. Pecora (Transporatation capt, U.S. unit)
  AVC Catering (Caterer)
  Premiere Caterer (Catering, U.S. unit)
  TV Dinners (Catering, U.S. unit)
  Cecil B. Demeals (Craft service, U.S. unit)
  Jeanie Udall (Medic)
  David Deane Asscociate (Health and safety consultant)
  Jacqui Green (Tutor)
Stand In: Jery Hewitt (Stunt coord)
  Nick Powell (Stunt coord)
  Andrea Petrides (Stunt coord)
  Lee Sheward (Stunt coord)
  Danny Aiello III (Stunts)
  Jay Amor (Stunts)
  Dara Amos (Stunts)
  Hank Amos (Stunts)
  Chick Bernhardt (Stunts)
  John Copeman (Stunts)
  John Evanko (Stunts)
  Tim Gallin (Stunts)
  Jay Kruger (Stunts)
  Lucinda Peel (Stunts)
  Gary Powell (Stunts)
  Glenn [R.] Wilder (Stunts)
Color Personnel: David Rees (Color timer, U.S. unit)
  Beverly Wood (Laboratory consultant, U.S. unit)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "Satyagraha," music by Philip Glass; "Metamorphosis 2" by Philip Glass, courtesy of Euphorbia Productions, New York, New York; "Beim Schlafengehen" from "Four Last Songs," music by Richard Strauss, text by Hermann Hesse, performed by Jessye Norman, soprano, Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig, Kurt Masur, conductor, courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited, under license from Universal Music Enterprises.
Composer: Philip Glass
  Hermann Hesse
  Richard Strauss
Source Text: Based on the novel The Hours by Mark Cunningham (New York, 1998).
Authors: Mark Cunningham

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Classics 27/1/2003 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001113096

PCA NO: 39136
Physical Properties: col: DeLuxe
  Sd: Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
  Widescreen/ratio: Panavision

Genre: Drama
Subjects (Major): Authors
  Depression, Mental
  Virginia Woolf
Subjects (Minor): AIDS (Disease)
  Family relationships
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Mothers and daughters
  Mothers and sons
  New York City
  Train stations

Note:        The opening cast credits differ in order from the closing credits, with Meryl Streep receiving top billing in the opening credits, and Nicole Kidman receiving top billing in the closing credits. The closing credits include an acknowledgment to the estates of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell for images by Duncan Grant. The Estate of Virginia Woolf is credited for permission to use quotations from her work throughout the film.
       The Hours was based on the Pultizer Prize-winning novel by Mark Cunningham. Cunningham’s novel, described by critics as “an homage” to British author Virginia Woolf, echoes Woolf’s fourth novel, Mrs. Dalloway , which covers a single day in the life of an upper-class British society matron, Clarissa Dalloway, as she prepares to give a party attended by her husband Richard, her youthful rejected suitor Peter and her childhood friend and unfulfilled love, Sally Seton. Another critical character in the novel unassociated with the party is poet Septimus Smith, a WWI veteran suffering from shellshock who commits suicide by throwing himself from his doctor’s office window.
       Cunningham also crafted his novel using Woolf’s literary concerns that included women’s issues, a fascination with death, the mental process, the conflict between the internal and external and the contrast between reality and dream states. Many reviews of the film The Hours note that its source appears to be the least likely of novels to make a successful transition from literary work to motion picture. The film juxtaposes the three main stories and differing time periods, often in mid-scene. The various segments frequently are linked together by similar images or lines of dialogue that connect a character in one story to a character in another.
       Adeline Virginia Stephen Woolf (1882--1941) was born in London and became one of the most notable and studied of modernist writers. Although as Virginia Woolf, she wrote nine novels, a play and five volumes of essays, reviews and memoirs in her lifetime, it was the posthumous publication of her abundant diaries and letters that brought about a full appreciation of her literary achievements. Virginia Stephen married political theorist and writer Leonard Woolf (1880--1969) in 1912, and in 1917 they founded the Hogarth Press, named after their home, Hogarth House, in Richmond, England, where the 1923 portion of the film is set. Along with writers E. M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Virginia’s brother-in-law, Clive Bell, artists Duncan Grant, Roger Fry, Virginia’s older sister Vanessa Bell (1879--1961), and other writers, critics, painters, economic and political activists, the Woolfs became central figures in what became known as the Bloomsbury group, named after the London neighborhood in which the Stephens family resided.
       As presented in the film, Virginia suffered from depression and mental illness, prompted by the death of her mother when Virginia was thirteen. Virginia attempted suicide at least twice during her marriage, yet had long periods of health and productivity during which she continued to write steadily after the 1925 publication of Mrs. Dalloway . As shown in the film, Virginia had a strong relationship with Vanessa and her children, Julian, Quentin and Angelica. Julian was killed in 1931 in the Spanish Civil War and Quentin went on to publish a critical biography on his aunt in 1972 that was instrumental in bringing to light Virginia’s substantial unpublished personal writings. In 1987 Angelica Bell Garnett published a book relating a child’s view of growing up in the midst of the Bloomsbury Group. Quentin Bell’s biography notes that despite the close relationship between Virginia and Vanessa, Virginia envied her sister’s motherhood and was grieved at her own childlessness. Leonard and Virginia had decided early in their marriage not to have children out of concern for Virginia’s stability.
       As shown in the film, Virginia began the outline for a novel in the autumn of 1923 that was initially titled The Hours and later changed to Mrs. Dalloway . Virginia also convinced Leonard to return to London in spite of doctors’ advice that country life would help sustain her mental health. The film quotes verbatim Virginia’s 1941 suicide note to Leonard, although according to Quentin Bell, she wrote at least one other note to him as well. As depicted in The Hours ’s opening sequence, Virginia committed suicide by drowning herself in the Ouse river in Sussex, 28 March 1941.
       According to an Aug 1999 DV news item, producer Scott Rudin purchased the rights to Cunningham’s novel with his own funds, not involving his home studio Paramount. Due to the studio’s uncertainty about the project’s success, Rudin later brought on board British theater impresario Robert Fox as co-producer. DV noted in a Sep 2000 item that along with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow was in talks for one of the lead roles in the film. In Oct 2000, Var noted that British theater director Stephen Daldry was set to direct. Paltrow fell out of casting discussions and Julianne Moore was then cast in the third starring role. Before the film began principal photography in late Jan 2001, Paramount negotiated with Miramax Films for additional production funds in exchange for international distribution rights.
       According to an article on the film in the Wall Street Journal , Rudin ran into difficulties with Mirimax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein over Rudin’s insistence on using a prosthetic nose for Kidman in her role as Virginia. In a DV article, costume designer Ann Roth revealed that the three leading stars’s costumes employed the color palette used in Vanessa’s paintings. According to a Nov 2002 NYT article, the film’s scoring was initially assigned to Stephen Warbeck, then Michael Nyman before ending with Philip Glass, over whose selection Rudin clashed with Weinstein. The 10 Jan 2003 issue of Entertainment Weekly indicates that the part of “Louis Waters” was initially shot with Zeljko Ivanek, who was considered too young-looking onscreen. Jeff Daniels was then hired and the scenes re-shot.
       The article also indicates that actress Betsy Blair was originally cast as the older “Laura Brown” in the film’s major closing sequence with “Clarissa Vaughan,” but after the sequence was filmed, Daldry decided a cosmetically aged Moore would be more appropriate. According to the NYT and Wall Street Journal , as principal photography had been completed and Streep and Moore had prior commitments, the scene could not be scheduled to be re-shot until 13 Sep 2001. After events of 11 Sep 2001, air travel was temporarily suspended and while the schedules were being reconsidered, Streep suffered a family crisis resulting in another delay. The scene with Moore, by then seven months pregnant, and Streep was eventually shot in Jan 2002, one year after production initially began. At an American Cinematheque screening of The Hours , Kidman noted that because she, Streep and Moore filmed their sequences independently, she never met the other two actresses until the start of the film's post-production publicity. She also noted that Streep filmed her sequence first, then Moore, then Kidman after a six-week break necessitated by knee problems she continued to have following completion of Moulin Rouge! (see above).
       Eileen Atkins, who appeared in the small role of “Barbara in the flower shop,” played Virginia Woolf on stage in A Room of One’s Own and wrote the screenplay for the 1998 film First Look Pictures production of Mrs. Dalloway , which starred Vanessa Redgrave. The Hours was shot on location in London, Miami, FL (standing in for Los Angeles) and New York City. A 3 Nov 2002 NYT article indicated that an intended premiere of the film at the Venice Film Festival was canceled due to continuing differences between Rudin and Weinstein.
       In addition to being selected by AFI as one of the top ten films of 2002, The Hours was selected by the National Board of Review as its best film of the year. The film received seven Golden Globe nominations: for Best Motion Picture--Drama, Best Actress--Drama (Kidman and Streep), Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. The picture won the award for Best Motion Picture--Drama, and Kidman received the award for Best Actress--Drama. Kidman received an Oscar for Best Actress, and the film was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Supporting Actor (Harris), Best Supporting Actress (Moore), Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. Kidman was also nominated by SAG for Best Lead Actress in a Movie. Kidman was honored as Best Acress in a Leading Role by BAFTA, and the organization also recognized The Hours for Achievement in Film Music. Daltry received a nomination by the DGA for its Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film Award, and novelist Cunningham and screenwriter Hare won the USC Scriptor Award for Best Adapted Screenplay of the year. Hare was also recognized by the WGA with an award for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   3 Aug 1999   p. 1, 19.
Daily Variety   8 Sep 2000   p. 5, 67.
Daily Variety   25 Sep 2000   p. 1, 11.
Daily Variety   26 Oct 2000   p. 1, 20.
Daily Variety   12 Dec 2000.   
Daily Variety   19 Jan 2001.   
Daily Variety   12 Aug 2002.   
Daily Variety   30 Oct 2002.   
Daily Variety   4 Nov 2002   p. 1.
Entertainment Weekly   10 Jan 2003   pp. 21-27.
Entertainment Weekly   17 Jan 2003   pp. 52-53.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Jan 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   30 Jan 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   5 Dec 2002   p. 1, 38.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Dec 2002.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Dec 2002.   
Los Angeles Times   27 Dec 2002   p. E1, E32.
Newsweek   9 Dec 2002.   
New York Times   8 Sep 2002.   
New York Times   3 Nov 2002   p. 1, 18.
New York Times   27 Dec 2002.   
Variety   30 Oct 2000.   
Variety   12 Dec 2002.   

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