"Dear Leonard. To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard. Always the years between us. Always the years. Always the love. Always the hours."
— Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf, The Hours (2002)
I think I’ve seen this film several dozen times and I’ve always been entranced by this scene: an amazingly talented author trying to explain to her husband her fascination with writing the perfect death in her latest novel.
"The Hours" tells a story of three women across time whose lives are interconnected by the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: Clarissa Vaughan, a New Yorker preparing an award party for her AIDS-stricken long-time friend and poet in 2001; Laura Brown, a pregnant 1950s California housewife with a young boy and an unhappy marriage; and Virginia Woolf herself in 1920s England, who is struggling with depression and mental illness whilst trying to write her novel.
"A woman’s life in a single day. Just one day. And in that day her whole life. It’s on this day, this day of all days, her fate becomes clear to her."