Phone Message Transcript: February 17th, 2003
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hello guys, this is Anne Rice, it's February 17th, 2003. It's a very gray day here in New Orleans. We've had a whole spate of winter weather. I have been under the weather myself for about a month, because I had the Gastric Bypass operation. Stomach stapling. I don't know how many of you have heard of this, but it's a very drastic operation that you have when you are very overweight. I've been overweight for a long time. They staple off a portion of your stomach and only a very small portion, about as big as an egg, and that part of your stomach is the only part that can receive nutrients. They bypass a lot of your intestines and a part of the long intestine, I believe, is stapled up to the stomach, and after that you get full from a very small amount of food. I underwent that surgery on January 15th. I've been convalescing since then. I've kind of sailed through it. I've done very very well. I'm very glad I had the operation. It's kind of not a bad thing to experience, really, while in mourning. As you know I'm in mourning for having lost Stan on December 9th and I've done well with this operation. I've already lost about 30 pounds of my morbidly obese excess weight and I hope to lose more. But that isn't really what I came on to tell you. I am just telling you what's up with me because some of you want to know. Speaking of that, I appreciate you leaving the phone messages and the many wonderful things you've said about Stan and about loss and about grief; all of which have been a great comfort to me.

But I really came on to tell you about this absolutely fabulous movie I saw last night on DVD. It was "The Hours". It's a real masterpiece of a film. Those of you who follow my film commentaries, know that I never pan a film. I only come on when I see something that is compellingly good enough for me to say something about it. "The Hours" is definitely just a brilliant film. It's the most brilliant film I've seen since "Magnolia". It really is a masterpiece. It makes me happy. It makes me joyous, that a film like this can be made in America. That we can get something like this done. That we can go from a wonderful and spectacular "Gladiator", which I realize was a couple of years ago, to a film like "The Hours" and we can do that. And I really think Miramax is wonderful for having had a hand in this. It's just great. The director is Stephen Daldry. There are too many people in the cast to mention, and they were all fantastic. Nicole Kidman is wonderful as Virginia Woolf, the writer. Meryl Streep is fantastic, Julianne Moore is mesmerizing. Ed Harris is just terrific. Everybody in it really is very very good. The film is, oh it's like entering into an intense dream or spell, and not wanting to wake up. You are just locked to the screen. The music, the acting, the editing, I mean, all of it contributes to this like twisting sense of these people's faces; and their eyes and their voices, and what they are going through. And you are privy to their emotions and you are just swept away with it. I mean, it is a fantastic film about the hearts and souls and about obscenities. It has all kinds of meanings that I have yet to fully understand. It's a very courageous film. A very seriously made film, and I highly recommend it to all of you. I know it's running now in the theaters. I got the DVD simply because Paramount decided to send everybody in the Writer's Guild a DVD, so I got it. I really had no idea it was going to be this good. I was just locked to it, from the moment I put it in the machine and I just can't recommend it enough. If anybody tells you that this is a woman's picture...goodness sakes. This is no more a woman's picture than "Enemy of the Gates" was a man's picture. This is a picture about people. There is no woman's picture and man's picture, those titles don't shock us. They don't really define anything. A great movie is a great movie; and that's what this is. I recommend that you go see it right away. My first recommendation is that you see it on a big screen, don't wait for the DVD, as I did. If you can get out to a theater, so see it. Go see "The Hours", it's really compelling, it's really worth the time. Everything about it is really flawless. The editing, again, I know I'm repeating myself, is terrific. Just terrific. I just want to say that I'm devoted to Virginia Woolf, the writer. I studied her intensely in my college years. I took my masters oral exam on Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, and Shakespeare; and I'm overjoyed to see that this movie put Virginia Woolf back on the bestseller list. I think it's great. I think it's wonderful that more people will turned onto Virginia Woolf. That they'll find out what a magnificent writer she was. That she inspired this movie is great thing. It's a tribute to her.

I did see another wonderful movie recently, it was "A Beautiful Mind". I know that's a movie from last year or the year before, but it's also very fine. And Russell Crowe is quite wonderful in it. You wouldn't believe that this was the same person who played in "Gladiator". He is really a fabulous actor. And speaking of actors, Ed Harris in "The Hours" was in both "The Enemy at the Gates" and "The Hours" and he is fabulous and I again recommend it to you. Leave me a message at the beep. I love to hear from you. All those of you who are writers, keep the faith. I love you very much, take care."