I’ve been avoiding this movie for a long time now, because of course it was going to be sad, and therefore depressing, I suspected. I finally rented it, and then I still waited to watch it until the last night before I had to take it back. Turns out, I found it thought-provoking and sort of inspiring, although it does deal with some pretty serious issues, a couple of suicides the most weighty. Since watching it, I have been thinking about how we misjudge others’ situations, problems, moods, etc. It’s so easy to look at the people around us and assume that they’re handling their lives much better than we’re handling ours. There were a couple of times in this film where one character says to another, “You’re so lucky,” but because we’ve seen more of that character’s life, we know how untrue that is. It reminds me of something Henry Eyring, one of the Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said recently:
When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.”
I thought then that he was pessimistic. Now, more than 40 years later, I can see how well he understood the world and life.
The Hours has a lot of hidden misery in it. It made me think that it’s probably a good idea to treat everyone I meet as if they’re in serious trouble. Who knows who’s contemplating suicide? And even if it hasn’t come to that, there are a lot of people who need help or friendship or someone to listen to them or love them. Also, I don’t want to make assumptions about someone else’s life; I don’t want to say to anyone, “You’re so lucky,” when they’re actually unhappy, depressed, struggling with problems of which I’m unaware.
I really ought to read something by Virginia Woolf besides A Room of One’s Own. The acting in this is astounding, by the way. Nicole Kidman is not herself. She’s really amazing.
A disclaimer for some family members and friends: I liked this movie very much, but there's stuff in it that will be controversial or frowned on by some. I'm not necessarily recommending it to everyone I know! That is all.