The Hours is a 2002 British-U.S. drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. Supporting roles are played by Ed Harris, John C. Reilly, Stephen Dillane, Jeff Daniels, Miranda Richardson, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Claire Danes and Eileen Atkins. The screenplay by David Hare is based on Michael Cunningham's 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title.
The plot focuses on three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. These are Clarissa Vaughan (Streep), a New Yorker preparing an award party for her AIDS-stricken long-time friend and poet, Richard (Harris) in 2001; Laura Brown (Moore), a pregnant 1950s California housewife with a young boy and an unhappy marriage; and Virginia Woolf (Kidman) herself in 1920s England, who is struggling with depression and mental illness while trying to write her novel.
The film was released in Los Angeles and New York City on Christmas Day 2002, and was given a limited release in the United States and Canada two days later on December 27, 2002. It did not receive a wide release in North America until January 2003, and was then released in British cinemas on Valentine's Day that year. Critical reaction to the film was mostly positive, with nine Academy Award nominations for The Hours including Best Picture, and a win for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress.