Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The Hours DVD (2003)

With our warning that The Hours "aims to stimulate a little higher above the belt", and that you should be "willing to invest full attention" mean that this will be a particularly serious DVD review. Read it as a whisper in your head, and for God's sake try to keep up!

Theatre Darling

In the featurette Three Women, director Stephen Daldry talks about the pleasure of working with three actresses who share his love of the theatre, but he doesn't reveal his thoughts on Julianne Moore's objection to the rehearsal process. Moore does touch upon her dislike for rehearsal in the commentary, but she and Daldry both waffle around the issue - trying desperately not to tread on each other's toes.

The Strong And The Woolly

Elements of the extra features on the DVD are worth exploring. There's an efficient background featurette on the life of Virginia Woolf, which could easily have been longer given the calibre of the interviewees. Additionally the commentary with Stephen Daldry and writer Michael Cunningham is a detailed examination of what was an unusual and imaginative project. Add to that the excellent technical presentation of the film and this is a worthwhile purchase for fans of the film.

The disc doesn't benefit from a commentary by Kidman, Streep, and Moore, their combined ramblings being rather wishy washy in nature. For the same reason, the music featurette where composer Philip Glass talks about the score is not needed. It's exceptionally rare that composers can add anything worthwhile to the director's commentary. If they feel the need to explain their music, then their work was surely lacking in the first place. If you ignore these extras, this DVD is certainly worth a few hours of your time.

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Audio commentary with director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter David Hare
  • Audio commentary with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep
  • The Music Of The Hours featurette
  • The Lives Of Mrs Dalloway featurette on the novel writing process
  • Three Woman making of featurette
  • The Mind And Times Of Virginia Woolf documentary
  • Storyboards
  • Filmmakers introduction
  • Theatrical trailer
  • This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.

    Technical Information

    REGION SOUND MENUS RATIO
    2 Dolby Digital 5.1 Animated, with music 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
    CHAPTERS SUBTITLES AUDIO TRACKS
    17 English, Italian English, Italian, Audio Descriptive
    CAPTIONS EXTRAS SUBTITLES CERTIFICATE
    English None of the special features come with subtitles 12

    End Credits

    Director: Stephen Daldry

    Writer: David Hare

    Stars: Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, Stephen Dillane, John C Reilly, Miranda Richardson

    Genre: Drama

    Length: 114 minutes

    Cinema: 14 February 2003

    DVD: 24 November 2003

    Country: USA