Let’s start out
by being truthful. This is a movie about three lesbians, not suicide, which is
what I thought going in. Not
your run of the mill lesbians, either.
This is in-your-face lesbianism.
It tells of three generations of lesbian women, Virginia Woolf
(Nicole Kidman with a new nose), circa 1920s writing Mrs. Dalloway, Laura
Brown (Julianne Moore, reproducing her role in Far From Heaven, circa 1950s
reading Mrs. Dalloway), and present day Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep),
who’s living openly with another woman, and is trying to lend support to
Brown’s son, Richard (Ed Harris), who’s dying of AIDS, so we must assume
he’s homosexual, too.
This is a feminist
diatribe and it’s true to its core as it shows men as marginalized, at
best. When Laura Brown deserts
her family, leaving them with a loving father, Dan Brown (John C. Reilly),
apparently the family disintegrates, leaving one with the impression that
the filmmakers believe that a loving father is incapable of raising a family
without a woman present. Woolf’s
husband, Leonard (Stephan Dillane), is just a wuss, who does whatever
This has a PG
rating but it’s got several scenes of women kissing each other on the
lips. The worst is Woolf giving
her sister a long, passionate kiss firmly on the lips, implying, I guess,
that she was not only a lesbian, but an incestuous one as well.
Frankly, I think this is far more morally reprehensible than looking
at a woman’s nipple, which guarantees an “R” rating.
To be utterly truthful, I see nothing at all wrong with looking at a
woman’s nipple. I’ve never
understood why that will get an “R” rating while showing someone blowing
someone else’s head apart right there in living color won’t.
Why is violence tolerated and a woman’s nipple not?
But I digress.
I didn’t find
this movie the least bit depressing (well, wait a minute…having to sit
through 114 minutes of this dreck was pretty depressing).
Three of the four principals were suicidal.
They are so selfishly self-centered that they are completely
unsympathetic. It was all about
them. Nobody thought about
anybody else, except Vaughan, who, for some reason, tried to help Richard
Brown. I thought all of them
should commit suicide so the movie could end mercifully and quickly.
Instead it runs for 114 minutes.
One hundred and fourteen preposterously self-congratulating minutes
of shots of people thinking and musing about themselves.
To think that
Julianne Moore received an Oscar nomination for this is astonishing.
Her performance is a perfect duplication of her performance in Far
From Heaven. Either she’s not acting or her acting is terminally
one-dimensional. And this
Director (Stephen Daldry) does as dismal a job of recreating the ‘50s as
did Todd Haynes. There was more
to the ‘50s than cars with large fins and dated fashion.
Neither of these guys has a clue about how to recreate an era with
feeling. I’d hate to see them
try the Civil War!
This film is
political correctness to the nth degree.
And everyone feels so sorry for themselves.
Oh, woe is me! I felt if
they were so involved with the sorry mess their attitudes had made of their
lives, they should end it all. Get
it over with! There’s a famous defense sometimes used in Texas murder
trials, that the victim deserved it. The
way they’re presented here, Woolf and both Browns are so egocentric and
inconsiderate, quick suicide would have been a blessing to everyone
(especially the audience).
But what we got
were long dialogues, and long, introspective pauses.
The Hours is a pretentious, boring piece of crap.
Movies are an entertainment. People
go to them to be entertained. One
may argue that the special effects of things like Daredevil and the violence
and profanity of Dark Blue are entertaining.
I don’t, but some people may find them as such, and I have no
argument with their right to that opinion. But there’s nothing
entertaining about The Hours.
All the critics
rave about the acting. Horse
pucky. Nothing this boring could have acting that was any good.
If the acting were any good it wouldn’t be so boring.
And this isn’t just my opinion.
I’ve only talked to four people who enjoyed this.
Most, including women, abhorred it; many walked out. The person with
whom I attended the film was a woman who fell asleep several times and was
so angry with me for insisting we attend that she didn’t speak to me for
three minutes after the film ended (her personal record for silence!).
I can’t wrap
this up without mentioning the syrupy music (Phillip Glass).
It blares throughout. It
makes an unentertaining movie even less enjoyable.
attending this film that takes itself oh, so seriously, out of fear you
might be depressed. You won’t
care enough about the disagreeable characters to find anything about them
depressing, except their continuance. Unless you enjoy tedium, I’d avoid this like the plague.
March 1, 2003