U3A: “The Hours”

The_Hours_

“The Hours” is a British-American film starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. Its plot focuses on three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by Virginia Woolf ‘s novel “Mrs Dalloway”. All of them. in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

The action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years, except for the opening and final scenes, which represent Virginia’s suicide.
In Richmond, 1923, Virginia Woolf is writing “Mrs. Dalloway” and struggling with depression and mental illness. She feels trapped in Richmond and although she is aware she is more susceptible to mental illness in London, she would rather die ‘raving mad’ in London than avoid life (and perhaps prolong her years) in Richmond. In the afternoon she receives a visit from her sister and her children, and when they leave she goes to the railway station, where she wants to catch a train to central London. Her husband Leonard arrives to bring her home and says he is always afraid that she will commit suicide. She says she fears that, too, but claims that if she is to live, she has the right to decide how and where.
In 1949 Los Angeles, Laura Brown, pregnant with her second child, is the unhappy wife of a World War II veteran, with a young son. She goes to a hotel, where she intends to commit suicide, so she removes several bottles of pills and “Mrs. Dalloway” from her purse and begins to read it. She falls asleep and dreams the hotel room is flooded. She awakens with a change of heart and caresses her belly. She picks up her son , and they return home to celebrate her husband’s birthday.
In 1999 New York City, Clarissa Vaughan, a modern Mrs. Dalloway, is preparing a party to celebrate a major literary award received by her long-time friend and former lover, Richard, who is dying of an AIDS-related illness.

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