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The Mississippi Corpse - CyberCorpse 12

Film Review of "The Hours", by Hariette Surovell

Who knew a movie could make you want to jump in a river? The Mississippi, The Thames... any river will do!

"The Hours", based on Michael Cunningham's novel of the same title, is a fictional imagining of tormented suicidal female literary genius Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) completing the writing of "Mrs. Dalloway" before drowning herself; Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) as a repressed1950's housewife who is influenced by reading Woolf's masterpiece; and Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep), a contemporary Lesbian editor who is nicknamed "Clarissa Dalloway" by her now-also-gay ex-lover, Richard (Ed Harris), the recipient of a prestigious poetry award who is dying of AIDS. Are we confused yet? This reviewer still is, many hundreds of hours after viewing all these weary, dreary drones drowning their sorrows with sorrow. Why has such a muddy puddle of phony tears garnered so many critical cries of passion? Sobsisters unite!

Even the vivid, colorful cameo by Miranda Richardson as Woolf's sister, Bohemian artist extraordinaire Vanessa Bell is depressing, since it reminds us that Richardson, who is much more naturally talented than Streep, has been reduced to playing lowly bit parts since her explosive debut in Mike Newell's 1985 classic "Dance With a Stranger". Unlike Richardson, Stagey Streep just can't stop over-acting--either she is discreetly wiping wet eyes or her voice subtlely cracks in despair or...She never lets her fellow Thespians breathe, as she uses up all the oxygen in a room. Streep is not a team player, damnit, and shouldn't a gracious actress at least share the celluloid space? Julianne Moore, reprising her role as a repressed 1950's housewife in the also overrated "Far from Heaven", but here with a dowdier wardrobe, is so afflectless it makes one nostalgic for her sensitive yet amoral porn star, Amber Waves, in "Boogie Nights". Kidman is instantly forgettable, except for her now notorious witchlike prosthetic beak. Hopefully Gwyneth Paltrow,
playing tormented suicidal female literary genius Sylvia Plath in the upcoming biopic will make her character rise through the air like "Lady Lazarus".

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