I had heard about The Hours* but I could never figure out from the reviews exactly what it was about. Having watched it, I understand why the reviews don't tell you what it's about. I actually almost gave up on it before the opening credits were through, but I love all actors in the film and I was blown away by how Nicole Kidman transformed her looks, so I hung in there. I think I'm glad I did. Friday night movies for me are not about thinking and pondering and following a complex and layered story, but this movie was so well done, I had to stay with it.
It wasn't so much a story as it was exploratory surgery into psychological pain over a period of three generations. None of the characters (except Clarissa's daughter and Sally) was very likable, but they were so tortured I felt sorry for them and wanted them to find a way out of their pain.
The score was almost a character itself. It spoke when the characters were silent. For me it was so painful to listen to, I found myself wanting the characters to speak over it -- even though what they had to say was so tragic.
You'd think that such a film would leave the viewer feeling depressed, but for me when it all came together at the end, I felt comforted by the hopeful note of tenderness among the four women. I knew that they all still carried their pain and pain that was dumped on them by others they loved. Somehow they seemed strong enough to bear it, and both loved and loving enough to help one another as much as possible.
I loved the ending. It reminded me of the end of The Sixth Sense. I absolutely love it when a storyteller can take me right up to the final chapter and then smack me with a surprise.
Buy it here*.
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