The Hours

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Virginia, for one.

It wasn’t just a lump of putty stuck on her nose that earned Nicole Kidman lots of attention for her performance in The Hours. It was also a bit of fine acting as the mentally fragile writer Virginia Woolf (her performance won her an Academy Award). The film begins with Woolf starting to write her novel Mrs. Dalloway in 1923. She is desperately unhappy and afraid she’ll fall back into another debilitating depression. Despite her husband’s efforts to comfort and protect her, she lives in a state of constant anxiety.

From there, the film cuts to 1951 and Laura (Julianne Moore). A stay-at-home mom, Laura is also unhappy with her claustrophobic and restrictive lifestyle. Leaving her small son Richie with a neighbor, Laura checks into a hotel, intending to kill herself, but somehow begins to read a copy of Mrs. Dalloway and abandons her plan to commit suicide, returning to her son and husband instead. Fast--forward to 2001, and Clarissa (Meryl Streep) is preparing a party for her friend Richard, a poet who is winning a lifetime achievement award and is dying of AIDS.

In time, the audience realizes that Richard is Laura’s grown-up son Richie. The intertwining storylines weave a sense of connectedness between the characters as they highlight the extreme loneliness each feels. See one of Kidman’s best performances (along with nice turns by Moore and Streep) at 8:30 p.m. Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-523-3669 or visit www.domystore.com. Free.
Wed., Aug. 25, 8:30 p.m., 2010

 
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