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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

If any former Prague expats were coming under the impression that movie release lag time has reduced significantly, I regret to inform you that I just saw The Hours at the cinema the other night. Man, what a piece of crap. I can see why it might be worth renting on video -- the collection of talent, along with Nicole Kidman's prosthetic proboscis and an interesting plot surprise at the end, would alone be worth the rental price on a rainy day -- but when the cards are down, this is a pointless stew of maudlin mush. The moral of the story: Sometimes life is sort of hard, and sometimes we feel all angsty for no good reason, and sometimes we even feel trapped, especially if you're a woman or a famous writer. And the hours, the hours.... (cue Philip Glass score). I'm not terribly well-read in Virginia Wolff, but what I do know of her does not comport with this irritating portrayal of psychosis. You almost feel happy when she does herself in so her beleaguered husband can get on with his life. Claire Danes, meanwhile, was better in her brief part here than in T3, but I sometimes wonder if she should just let the script do the work, like the best actors do, and cut out all those facial expressions. Steep was great, Moore's been better, and Ed Harris could have used another font, if not an entirely different script. And what is with John C. Reilly playing the same hapless cuckolded husband, over and over and over again?

If you don't take my word for it, read David Edelstein's review on Slate.

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