The Hours

David Hare, PEN member and screenwriter of The Hours

PEN member David Hare

Screenwriter of The Hours

The tickets for this pre-preview of Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf, had sold out within a week. Therefore, we were expecting a buzzing crowd to descend on the Institut Francais Cinema for this event in aid of English PEN and the Charleston Trust, an organisation which exists to celebrate the lives and works of the Bloomsbury Group – and we were not disappointed.

Whether it was the lure of committed PEN member David Hare’s after-show talk, or the impressive clutch of award nominations the film has attracted, we were delighted that so many people turned out on a drizzling Sunday morning to support the event. The Institut Francais provided a very warm welcome in salubrious surroundings before the audience settled down to watch the screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

After the audience had recovered from the film’s emotional impact, screenwriter David Hare took to the stage to explain how he had approached adapting the book for the screen. He talked about the triangular structure of the work, and of the film’s almost ‘genre-less’ appeal, being neither a literary biopic, nor a typical Hollywood ‘women’s picture’. The varied audience took the opportunity to quiz David on some of his choices, and a lively discussion finished off the morning.

English PEN was delighted to collaborate with the Charleston Trust for this event. We also thank everyone at the Institut Francais who facilitated such a memorable and insightful showing.

Report by Tanya Andrews

Scenes from The Hours

Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf

Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf

Julianne Moore as Laura

Julianne Moore as Laura

Meryl Streep as Clarissa

Meryl Streep as Clarissa

visit the film’s official site

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