Three women, separated by a span of nearly 80 years, find themselves weathering similar crises, all linked by a single work of literature in this film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. In 1923, Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is attempting to start work on her novel Mrs. Dalloway, in which she chronicles one day in the life of a troubled woman. But Virginia has demons of her own, and she struggles to overcome the depression and suicidal impulses that have followed her throughout her life, as her husband Leonard (Stephen Dillane) ineffectually tries to help. In 1951, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a housewife living in suburban Los Angeles, where she looks after her son Richie (Jack Rovello) and husband Dan (John C. Reilly). Laura is also an avid reader who is currently making her way through Mrs. Dalloway. The farther she gets into the novel, the more Laura discovers that it reflects a dissatisfaction she feels in her own life, and she finds herself pondering the notion of leaving her life behind. Finally, in 2000, Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is a literary editor who is caring for Richard Brown (Ed Harris), a former boyfriend and noted author, who is slowly losing his fight with AIDS. Clarissa is trying to arrange a party to celebrate the fact that Richard has won a prestigious literary award, but is getting little help from Richard's ex-lover, Louis (Jeff Daniels). As she labors to help Richard through another day, he wonders if his life is worth the unending struggle. The Hours also features Toni Collette, Miranda Richardson, Allison Janney, and Claire Danes.