updated: 26/01/2005

old-age: The Hours

This was a movie that should have great (good concept and brilliant talent both sides of the camera): I’m still trying to work out why I fell asleep.

First seen in the 1951 segment, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is seen again after her son’s death in 2001.

Forget all the hype about Nicole Kidman’s prosthetic nose: this was the makeup from The Hours. This makeup may have been overlooked in the publicity because making Nicole look dowdy seemed a bigger story: more likely it was simply because putting Julianne Moore into old-age makeup was a late decision added in reshoots. Claire Danes commented:

They tweaked the ending and they added a scene. Julianne Moore’s character is an old woman and they originally had an actor [Betsy Blair, according to IMDb] playing her as an old woman. They didn’t like the way she looked so they put Julianne in old-age makeup. Julianne was pregnant at the time and she looked funny as an 80-year-old woman that’s pregnant.

Whatever, this makeup was good enough to stand up to the extreme closeups used by Stephen Daldry: it deserved and should have had an Oscar nomination. Okay she may not look 80 – just how many 50 year ageing jumps have you seen that worked in closeup – but she does look genuinely old. Great makeup: shame about the movie.

The prosthetic makeup was designed by Conor O’Sullivan and Jo Allen. Wigs were by Peter Owen. Ivana Primovac was makeup and hair supervisor. Dr Mitchell Cassel of Studio Optix provided the aged-look contact lenses. GA Enterprises provided Nicole Kidman’s prosthetic dentalwork and Fangs FX also provided dental veneers for the movie: Fangs FX provided the dental veneers that Julianne is wearing.