In the Dark

Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf

The Hours
Produced by Scott Rudin and Miramax Films 
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Screenplay by David Hare from Michael Cunningham’s novel
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Produced by Andrew Lazar and Miramax Films 
Directed by George Clooney
Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman from the book by Chuck Barris
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment

“CAUTION: Reading Virginia Woolf may be hazardous to your health.”

This warning should be slapped on Michael Cunningham’s novel The Hours and its film adaptation by Stephen Daldry.  Cunningham’s tendentious treatment of Woolf’s last years and her continuing literary influence is just honest enough to raise some alarms.

And now another caution: In the analysis that follows, I have felt it necessary to deal with the narrative’s conclusion, so you may want to skip the next several paragraphs until you see the film for yourself—and I think you should.  It is vital to confront infections at their earliest stage, especially those that present themselves with such a glossily innocuous air.

Woolf was undeniably a brilliant writer whose narrative experiments with stream of consciousness opened new possibilities for the novelists who followed her. ...

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