Movies about Writers: Virginia Woolf

Continuing my endeavor to watch movies about writers, I’ve decided to rent The Hours for my viewing pleasure. It wasn’t so much a cheerful movie to watch, but definitely at creative one.

The Hours is about Virginia Woolf and her book Mrs. Dalloway. Although I have never read Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf has crossed my path in some form or another. Unlike Sylvia, which showed a linear progression of Plath’s life since she met Ted Hughes, The Hours jumped throughout time and characters. The stories in this movie are between Virginia Woolf in  the 1920s; Laura Brown, a pregnant housewife, in the 1950s; and Clarissa Vaughan, a New York editor who is preparing a party  for her long-time friend and poet, in 2001.

The movie begins with the end of Virginia’s life, creating the platform for the reader. Spoiler alert: like Plath, Woolf takes her life into her own hands. The movie then back-tracks itself, portraying Virginia’s county life with her husband Leonard. She expresses to Leonard that she has thought of a beginning for her book, and with that, a narration of Mrs. Dalloway begins. Nicole Kidman (as Virginia Woolf) narrates the first few lines of the book, and the movie jumps through time to Laura Brown who begins to read the book in bed and to Clarissa Vaughan who performs Mrs. Dalloway’s first task: she said she would buy the flowers herself.

Though we see many days of Woolf’s life throughout the movie, the lives of Laura Brown and Clarissa Vaughan take place in one day, just like Mrs. Dalloway.

I don’t want to go into too much detail because I have a terrible tendency to spoil movies (and stories and jokes) when I really don’t mean to. But I will say this: throughout the movie I was trying to find what the connection between Laura Brown and Clarissa Vaughan were to each other and to Mrs. Dalloway, and I was immensely surprised when it was revealed.

It’s not the happiest of movies, but at this point, really, what writer’s life isn’t filled with a bit of darkness?

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2 thoughts on “Movies about Writers: Virginia Woolf

  1. cricketmuse says:

    I watched this movie only because I am a Meryl Streep fan, and I will have to say it was a tough one to watch–so much drama and emotionalism–yet the acting was so amazing. I created a movie list as well. Maybe you’ll stop by and check it out. Miss Potter is definitely more upbeat. Sounds like you are a Book Booster. Check out the “Joy of Books” video.
    Blue Skies,
    CricketMuse

    • Mary Keutelian says:

      I’ve actually seen the “Joy of Books” video. It’s pretty impressive. I can only imagine the amount of time to make that video. Also, thanks for the suggestion about “Miss Potter”– I’ll look into it!

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