In general, I make an effort to read a book before I watch the movie that is based upon it. Often, this makes the movie more interesting, as I already have become familiar with who the main characters are and how they are connected to each other.
Sometimes, this backfires, and I end up sadly disappointed by the movie that doesn’t match the quality of a book that I enjoyed. Once in a while, I see a movie before I have any idea that it was based upon a book. Such is the case with The Hours.
My overall impression of the movie was that there was something going on that I was missing. What were these characters thinking about in silence? It must have been important, but I could not deduce what, exactly, it was.