Clarissa Dalloway (Redgrave), the beautiful wife of an eminent MP, loves to give parties. A day in her life, however, is a serious affair, interwoven with the experiences of a WWI veteran, Septimus (Graves), and a flood of painfully pleasant memories. Eileen Atkins' adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel concentrates exclusively on Mrs Dalloway's ruminations. Thus, although we sympathise with Septimus, the originality of his experience is lost; and cousin Ellie, the 'invisible' spinster, brought so spikily to life in the novel - in the film remains a voiceless nobody. Unfortunately Redgrave chews up the scenery, and when she's meant to be ecstatic appears merely unhinged. The characters of Sally (Clarissa's best friend), and Peter (her first and most ardent suitor), make more sense and are well served by both young (Headey/Cox) and old (Badel/Kitchen) sets of actors. Peter's wimpish arrogance is wonderfully caught, as is Sally's casual, fox-like intelligence. Fascinated by Clarissa and also resentful, these two alone make us understand her appeal. Sue Gibson's visuals are excellent, and the depiction of London is perfect.
Cast and crew