Thursday, March 20, 2003

Meghan O'Rourke in Slate goes Nicholson one better on the wimpering necrophilia of The Hours -- indeed, she nails it on the head as no other reviewer:

Woolf would hate the movie, which depicts her as a jaw-clenched nut job and designates its neurotic latter-day protagonists her spiritual heirs.

What would distress Woolf most, though, is the film's sentimentality about women and suffering and its suggestion that the abiding truth of Woolf's life and work was her madness.

The Hours ... revels in death and sickness and refuses to face loss in its sternest form. It promotes the hoary notion that illness gives us depth: Death—Woolf's, or Richard's—helps us all to "value life more," as the Woolf character in the movie puts it. The artists are sacrificed so that the rest of us ordinary (but sensitive!) people can live better. How extremely fortunate for us.

A-plus, Meghan.

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