Mrs. Dalloway: The Novel That Inspired The Hours

Well, I think I know what I am going to do tonight.  I have been terribly bored these past ten days because my husband has been out of town, literally out of the country, on business, and there are still many more days to suffer through his absence.  When my children go to bed at night, I often wish I had a good movie to kill the time; but not much interests me because I am not much of a movie person.  And reading Mrs. Dalloway is not exactly my idea of entertainment and does not suffice to take up my evening hours, although it may help me sleep better.        

However, I think I am going to finish Mrs. Dalloway today, and if that is the case, I am going to rent "The Hours."  See, it says right here on my cover in the little gray circle that Mrs. Dalloway, the novel, inspired "The Hours," the movie.  It actually seems interesting to me, and I am curious.  Plus, Meryl Streep is my favorite actress, if I have to choose one.  

I have included the synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes, where it gets a low 80s rating:   

Three women, separated by a span of nearly 80 years, find themselves weathering similar crises, all linked by a single work of literature in this film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. 

In 1923, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is attempting to start work on her novel Mrs. Dalloway, in which she chronicles one day in the life of a troubled woman. But Virginia has demons of her own, and she struggles to overcome the depression and suicidal impulses that have followed her throughout her life, as her husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane) ineffectually tries to help. 

In 1951, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a housewife living in suburban Los Angeles, where she looks after her son Richie (Jack Rovello) and husband Dan (John C. Reilly). Laura is also an avid reader who is currently making her way through Mrs. Dalloway. The farther she gets into the novel, the more Laura discovers that it reflects a dissatisfaction she feels in her own life, and she finds herself pondering the notion of leaving her life behind. 

Finally, in 2000, Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is a literary editor who is caring for Richard Brown (Ed Harris), a former boyfriend and noted author, who is slowly losing his fight with AIDS. Clarissa is trying to arrange a party to celebrate the fact that Richard has won a prestigious literary award, but is getting little help from Richard's ex-lover, Louis (Jeff Daniels). As she labors to help Richard through another day, he wonders if his life is worth the unending struggle. 

The Hours also features Toni Collette, Miranda Richardson, Allison Janney, and Claire Danes. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


  1. I am still gathering courage to start Mrs Dalloway, but the movie was really good and I'm looking forward to reading The Hours as well.

    1. Well, I will be honest: I struggled w/ Mrs. Dalloway at the beginning until I did some research and learned that I should not read it like a typical novel, but rather as poetry; it rarely is going to make sense. It really worked, but I still did not necessarily care for it. I think I would need to reread it in order to gain more from it.

      As for The Hours, it was an interesting take on Mrs. Dalloway, the novel, but a little depressing. I'll leave it at that.