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By Peter Heidenreich, Staff Writer
Rated PG-13; playing at Colonial Village
Two outstanding performances from Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman, and one solid but a bit hammy performance from Meryl Streep make The Hours a well-acted and powerful film. Spanning three time periods and locations, each of the main characters unfortunate situations dissects the agonies of depression, alienation, and suicide. The film then attempts to reassemble the disparate depictions of these womens lives and suggests an antithesis to hopelessness and desperation.
Kidman plays the famous but troubled English author, Virginia Woolf, whose real-life mental degeneration, poignantly acted by the Australian star, forms the framework upon which hang the stories of the other characters. Moore plays Laura Brown, a quiet woman trapped in a post-war 1950s complacency. Streep plays a New York sophisticate in 2001 who is emotionally ravaging herself through her ostensible efforts to care for a terminally ill poet friend, played by a similarly solid but hammy Ed Harris. The Hours also features a fantastic score by Philip Glass that seems to have sprung to life out of the celluloid itself.
The tightly written script draws many comparisons among the women, some obvious, others subtle, but the most important unification is their struggle for self-reliance; being able to find a footing through the treacherous terrain of existence. To the films credit, that theme is presented without over-sentimentality. In many ways, it is a depressing film, but it takes its depressing subject matter seriously and forces the viewer to do the same. The Hours is an excellent film, emoting both sadness and hope.
eeee Must see
eee Good show
ee Worth a look
e Skip it