Mrs. Dalloway [1997]

Vanessa Redgrave glows from within as the heroine of this superb adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel. As Clarissa Dalloway prepares to host a sumptuous party, her mind wanders back to a summer in her youth, when she was courted by an eager young man--a young man whose much older self will come to the very party she's preparing. Mrs. Dalloway moves fluidly between the past and the present, exploring the shifts in perspective and understanding with an unsentimental but graceful eye. What's most stunning is the remarkable interplay between the younger and older actors, who truly seem to be different versions of the same character (the young Clarissa is played by Natascha McElhone). Beautifully directed by Marleen Gorris (Antonia's Line), the movie also features Rupert Graves as a shell-shocked soldier who crosses Clarissa's path. --Bret Fetzer

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