“Dearest,I feel certain that I m going mad again
I feel we cant go through another of these terrible times
And I ~shan’t recover this time
I begin to hear voices, and cant concentrate
So ~I m doing what seems to be the best thing to do
U have given me the greatest possible happiness
U have been in every way all that anyone could be
I know that I m spoiling ur life
And without me u could work
And u will I know
U see I cant even write this properly
What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to u
U have been entirely patient with me
And incredibly good
Everything s gone from me but the certainty of ur goodness
I cant go on spoiling ur life any longer
I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been”
This art movie is in autobiography way. It adapts the life of British
writer Virginia Woolf, also with her famous work 《Mrs. Dalloway》. In
some introductions, this movie is usually pasted with key words
‘Feminism’ and ‘Lesbianism’ . However, I don’t think great works like
this one can only be defined by one ‘-ism’. It is more like to tell
humanities, to reveal real and common feelings of all creatures.
·个人所喜有 ~※~ 标记，很多。
The film tells three different women’s lives in one single day. As
Virginia said, a woman’s whole life, just in one single day. They have
connections and their experiences can be regarded as comparisons. I want
to explain it through some typical objects or scenes in this film.
小说中的 别人的 自己的
“She ll buy the flowers herself”
“I ll buy the flowers myself”
Vanessa Bell: Virginia.
Virginia Woolf: Leonard thinks it’s the end of civilization: People who
are invited at 4 and arrive at 2:30.
Vanessa Bell: Oh God.
Virginia Woolf: Barbarians.
The first, Flowers. Virginia in 1923 started her novel with the
sentence: Mrs. Dalloway said…she would buy the flowers…herself. Please
pay attention on the last word ‘Herself’. It remarks the original of
Feminism. Women are beginning to aware that they have the desire to do
something on their own. In Virginia’s day, her maid bought blue flowers.
In 1951, an American woman, who is a young mother with a son Richard and
baby in venter. Her husband bought her yellow roses even it is the man’s
birthday. She feels upset because she even couldn’t buy flowers by
herself. It seems like that everything, even the simplest thing she
wants to do are all out of her hand. In 2001, this time is more
progressive, the third woman Clarissa Vaughan lives with her girlfriend
Sally and they have been together for ten years. Among these three women
from different times, only Clarissa put forward she wanted to buy
flowers herself and she did. It is a pity that I can’t figure out these
three types of flowers since I feel there could be some special meanings
in different types of flowers.
三位访客•3 visitors/3 parties
Leonard Woolf: If I didn’t know you better I’d call this ingratitude.
Virginia Woolf: I am ungrateful? You call ME ungrateful? My life has
been stolen from me. I’m living in a town I have no wish to live in…
I’m living a life I have no wish to live… How did this happen?
The second, Shoes. In 1941, Virginia drowned herself in the river out of
her house. When she is floating away with water, the shoes are left
behind. In 1952, Laura is going to kill herself in the hotel. She sits
on the edge of bed, and puts feet out of shoes slowly. In 2001, after
the conversation with Richard’s mother, Laura, Clarissa goes back to her
bedroom, takes off the shoes. Shoes, in this film, represents prison to
these women, or to say it exactly, they are chains which wrap humans
tightly. Once they take off their shoes, they could finally put
Virginia Woolf: I’m dying in this town.
Leonard Woolf: If you were thinking clearly, Virginia, you would recall
it was London that brought you low.
Virginia Woolf: If I were thinking clearly? If I were thinking
Leonard Woolf: We brought you to Richmond to give you peace.
Virginia Woolf: If I were thinking clearly, Leonard, I would tell you
that I wrestle alone in the dark, in the deep dark, and that only I can
know. Only I can understand my condition. You live with the threat, you
tell me you live with the threat of my extinction. Leonard, I live with
The third, Kiss. In 1923, Virginia kissed her sister Nessa. Nessa was
scared and hard to console Virginia, she left in a way more like
escaping. In 1951, Laura kissed her neighbor Kitty. Kitty also left her,
but in peace, not awkward. In 2001, Clarissa kissed Sally and only this
woman didn’t walk away. It reveals the progress of Feminism and maybe
also Lesbianism. However, what I want to argue is that under the
Feminism and Lesbianism, which viewers can see outside, it is humanity.
I notice details when they kiss. Nessa looked hesitated to when she came
and to give a kiss on the cheek. She was looking at Virginia’s lips,
very strange, and then kissed on her cheek. Kitty looked at Laura and
eyes show her desire entirely, maybe just for comfort, but she did need
that kiss. People who were kissed did need and long for kiss, but they
were scared when the kiss came true. Virginia and Laura gave their
kisses with whole courage, but reality treated them cruelly. That’s why
they became disappointed and tried to escape after kissing. It is tragic
that people can’t admit their desire and need, escaping from own heart,
like Nessa and Kitty. It is, more tragic, that people who have finally
adapted their own and be brave to show their desires, couldn’t be
accepted by this world, like Virginia and Laura.
Virginia Woolf: This is my right; it is the right of every human being.
I choose not the suffocating anesthetic of the suburbs, but the violent
jolt of the Capital, that is my choice. The meanest patient, yes, even
the very lowest is allowed some say in the matter of her own
prescription. Thereby she defines her humanity. I wish, for your sake,
Leonard, I could be happy in this quietness.
Virginia Woolf: But if it is a choice between Richmond and death, I
When Laura and Richard are going to make a cake for Dan, Laura says, we
are baking the cake to show him that we love him. Then Richard asks
‘Otherwise he won’t know we love him?’. Laura gives answer ‘Yes’. It
sets me thinking a lot. Love is an emotion, a feeling, but still needs
to show. People show love through kisses, hugs, touches. It is necessary
and very important. Although some people would ignore this in daily
life, which quite reduces their happiness.
Clarissa Vaughn: All right Richard, do me one simple favor. Come. Come
Richard Brown: I don’t think I can make it to the party, Clarissa.
Clarissa Vaughn: You don’t have to go to the party, you don’t have to go
to the ceremony, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You
can do as you like.
Richard Brown: But I still have to face the hours, don’t I? I mean, the
hours after the party, and the hours after that…
Clarissa Vaughn: You do have good days still. You know you do.
Richard Brown: Not really. I mean, it’s kind of you to say so, but it’s
not really true.
There are people who look like to be lonely and they seldom walk closely
to others. However, it doesn’t demonstrate that they don’t care. I think
it is a contrast between 1923 and 2001. In 1923, Nessa doesn’t invite
Virginia to her party because she thought Virginia would not come even
she invited her. Virginia said, even crazy people like to be invited.
Same in 2001, Richard refuses to attend the party which is for him and
held by Clarissa. Later Sally points out that Richard always comes to
parties even he says no. So that’s what the film wants to tell us.
People have different ways to live, to think, to feel. But one thing is
certain that people all like the feeling that they are needed and loved.
Virginia and Richard are people who are hard to express emotions, like
love, but they do own it.
Virginia Woolf: You cannot find peace by avoiding life, Leonard.
At the end of the film, there is a classic rhesis said by Virginia. ‘ To
look life in the face, always to look life in the face, and to know it
for what it is. At last, to know it, to love it for what it is, and then
to put it away.’ Virginia and Richard choose death while Laura chooses
life when they all look their own lives clearly. It is a contrast. To
choose death, because they have other people’s love and they couldn’t
pay off. It is a reason when Richard said to Clarissa that he felt he
lived to satisfy her. It is a reason Richard chooses death and he can’t
bear the hours even after the party. It is a reason that Virginia can’t
live but still say thanks and love to Leonard.
Clarissa Vaughn: That is what we do. That is what people do. They stay
alive for each other.
Laura also deeply knows the essence of life. She just chooses to live, a
different choice from Virginia and Richard. ‘It would be wonderful to
say you regretted it. It would be easy. But what does it mean? What does
it mean to regret when you have no choice? It’s what you can bear.’
Laura is the one who chooses to bear the hours after the ‘party’. There
are only two choices, life or death, once you know what the life is (for
people like Laura and Richard). And that is why Richard finally
understands his mother Laura. Clarissa also knows it and she forces
herself to ignore it. This is another way when faced with life. That’s
why Laura says to her ‘You are a lucky woman’.
Virginia Woolf: Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look
life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to
love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the
years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.
The love, whether is Leonard to Virginia or Clarissa to Richard, is pure
and never asks for return. Some people would doubt that why they are
still not happy since someone loves them heart and soul. No one asks
what they want. It is the love, too heavy for them to bear. I guess even
themselves don’t what they real want, from Virginia’s behaviors. ‘ The
poetry will die.’ They live in a poetry way.
“It is possible to die
It is possible to die”
“I decided to kill my heroine
But I ve changed my mind”
Clarissa Vaughn: I don’t know what’s happening to me. I seemed to be
So, what will you choose when the essence of life becomes clear to you?
Life or Death?
“someone has to be killed instead”
“In ur book someone has to die, why”
“Someone has to die
In order that the rest of us should value life more
“and who will die”
“the poet will die
“I stay alive for u
but now u have to let me go”
Isn’t it strange
不过是the most ordinary morning in everyone’s life
也是他不愿再面对的hours after that让他放弃活下去
想起love before sunrise里女主角说
Isn’t it beautiful
“I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been”
Virginia Woolf: Leonard, I believe I may have a first sentence.
It is a wonderful topic about life and humanity.
“the poet will die
Dan Brown: The thought of this life, that’s what kept me going. I had an
idea of our happiness.
Clarissa Vaughn: He gives me that look.
Julia: What look?
Clarissa Vaughn: To say your life is trivial. You are so trivial.
The choice of the question
“what does it mean to regret
when u have no choice
its what u can bear
it was death I choose life”
Virginia Woolf: [writing in her book] Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy
the flowers herself.
Laura Brown: [reading in bed] Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the
Clarissa Vaughan: Sally, I think I’ll buy the flowers myself.
Sally Lester: What? What flowers?
Sally Lester: Oh, shit! I forgot!
The moment of happiness
“I remember thinking to myself
So this is the beginning of happiness
This is where it starts
And of course there ll always be more
It never occurred to me
It wasn’t the beginning
It was happiness
It was the moment
Virginia Woolf: I’ve been attended by doctors, who inform me OF MY OWN
The truth of life
“U can never find peace by avoiding life”
Richard Brown: Just wait till I die. Then you’ll have to think of
yourself. How are you going to like that?
“to look life in the face
always to look life in the face
and to know it for what it is
at last, to know it to love it for what it is
and then, to put it away
Leonard, always the years between us
Always the years
Always the love
Always the hours”
Laura Brown: We’re baking the cake to show him that we love him.
Richie Brown: Otherwise he won’t know we love him?
Laura Brown: That’s right.
Vanessa Bell: Your aunt is a very lucky woman Angelica. She has two
lives. The life she is living, and the book she is writing.
Laura Brown: Don’t worry, honey. Everything’s fine. We’re going to have
a wonderful party. We’ve made Daddy such a nice cake.
Virginia Woolf: I can’t think of anything more exhilarating than a trip
~※~ (before her suicide attempt)
Laura Brown: Baby. Baby, you have to be brave now.
© 本文版权归作者 Vxxco_L
Richard Brown: Who is this party for?
Clarissa Vaughan: What are you asking, what are you trying to say?
Richard Brown: I’m not trying to say anything. I think I’m staying alive
just to satisfy you.
Virginia Woolf: A woman’s whole life in a single day. Just one day. And
in that day her whole life.
Kitty: Oh, you’re reading a book?
Laura Brown: Yeah.
Kitty: What’s this one about?
Laura Brown: Oh, it’s about this woman who’s incredibly – well, she’s a
hostess and she’s incredibly confident and she’s going to give a party.
And, maybe because she’s confident, everyone thinks she’s fine… but
Laura Brown: It would be wonderful to say you regretted it. It would be
easy. But what does it mean? What does it mean to regret when you have
no choice? It’s what you can bear. There it is. No one’s going to
forgive me. It was death. I chose life.
Sally: Why do I always have to sit next to the exes? Is this some kind
of a hint, sweetheart? Anyway, shouldn’t the exes have a table of their
own, where they can all ex together in ex-quisite agony?
Richard Brown: Oh, Mrs. Dalloway… Always giving parties to cover the
Laura Brown: Obviously, you… feel unworthy. Gives you feelings of
unworthiness. You survive and they don’t.
Clarissa Vaughn: Why is everything wrong?
Virginia Woolf: Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should
value life more. It’s contrast.
Laura Brown: It’s a terrible thing, to outlive your entire family.
Angelica Bell: What happens when we die?
Virginia Woolf: What happens?
Virginia Woolf: We return to the place that we came from.
Angelica Bell: I don’t remember where I came from.
Virginia Woolf: Nor do I.
Louis Waters: I know, you think am I still up for this, all this
intensity, all those arguments, doors being slammed, well, you know what
Virginia Woolf: Do you think I may one day escape?
Vanessa Bell: One day.
Clarissa Vaughan: Just to let you know I am making the crab thing. Not
that I imagine it makes any difference to you.
Richard Brown: Of course it makes a difference. I love the crab thing.
Julia: You can’t see that Louis Waters is weird?
Clarissa Vaughn: I can see that he’s sad.
Julia: Well. All of your friends are sad.
Clarissa Vaughn: I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was
such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember
thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is
where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never
occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the
moment. Right then.
Virginia Woolf: Say something, Nessa! Didn’t you think I seemed
Virginia Woolf: I am saying, Vanessa, that even crazy people like to be
Angelica Bell: Goodbye.
Virginia Woolf: Goodbye, little girl.
Richard Brown: We want everything, don’t we?
Clarissa Vaughn: I suppose we do.
Richard Brown: I had this wonderful notion. I took the Xanax and the
Ritalin together. It had never occurred to me!
Richard Brown: I’ve stayed alive for you. But now you have to let me
Richard Brown: Would you be angry if I died?
Angelica Bell: What were you thinking about?
Virginia Woolf: I was going to kill my heroine. But I’ve changed my
Virginia Woolf: You return to what?
Vanessa Bell: Tonight. Oh, just some insufferable dinner not even you
could envy, Virginia.
Virginia Woolf: But I do.
Leonard Woolf: Do you think it’s possible that bad writing actually
attracts a higher incidence of error?
Julia: They’re all here, aren’t they? All the ghosts… All the ghosts
are assembling for the party!
Clarissa Vaughn: When I’m with him I feel… Yes, I am living. And when
I’m not with him… Yes, everything does seem sort of silly.
Virginia Woolf: Did it matter, then, she asked herself, walking toward
Bond Street. Did it matter that she must inevitably cease, completely.
All this must go on without her. Did she resent it? Or did it not become
consoling to believe that death ended absolutely? It is possible to die.
It is possible to die.
Virginia Woolf: It’s on this day. This day of all days. Her fate becomes
clear to her.
Clarissa Vaughn: He came out behind me. He put his hand on my
shoulder…”Good morning, Mrs. Dalloway.” From then on I’ve been
Louis Waters: Stuck?
Clarissa Vaughn: Yep. With the name, I mean.
Louis Waters: The day I left him I got on a train and made my way across
Europe. I felt free for the first time in years.
Kitty: All my life I could do anything. I could do anything, really.
Except the one thing I wanted.
Virginia Woolf: I was going to kill my heroine. But I’ve changed my
mind. I fear I may have to kill someone else, instead.
~※~ (妮可·基德曼说这句话时, my heart stopped beating T T)
Virginia Woolf: Im dying in this town!
Laura Brown: I love you, sweetheart. You’re my guy.
Virginia Woolf: Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I
feel I can’t go through another one of these terrible times and I shant
recover this time. I begin to hear voices and can’t concentrate so I am
doing what seems to be the best thing to do. You have given me the
greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone
could be. I know that I am spoiling your life and without me you could
work and you will, I know. You see I can’t even write this properly.
What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you.
You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. Everything
is gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on
spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been
happier than we have been. Virginia
Richard Brown: Like that morning, when you walked out of that old house
and you were, you were eighteen, and maybe I was nineteen. I was
nineteen years old, and I’d never seen anything so beautiful. You,
coming out of a glass door in your early morning, still sleepy. Isn’t it
strange, the most ordinary morning in anybody’s life? I’m afraid I can’t
make it to the party, Clarissa. You’ve been so good to me, Mrs.
Dalloway, I love you. I don’t think two people could have been happier
than we’ve been