As I have recently re-read Mrs. Dalloway, I thought it would be interesting to watch one of the film adaptations, and as I'm such a nerd, I chose the chronologically first one, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Here's the trailer:
Sorry for the crappy quality, but I couldn't find a YouTube link.
The cast is quite good, to be honest - Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs. Dalloway (Atonement, Nip/Tuck, Call the Midwife and future Vida Winter in The Thirteenth Tale), Lena Headey as young Sally Seton (Game of Thrones, 300, The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Rupert Graves as Septimus Warren Smith (Sherlock, V for Vendetta, The Forsyte Saga) and a bunch of traditional British household names. The performances some times came out a little tepid, but they were good in general - except for Lucrezia's fake Italian accent, which was consistently terrible. I can't say the same about the general feeling conveyed by the film, though.
It was directed by a Marleen Gorris, unknown to me until today. And the best I can say about her work is that it is okay. It is an okay adaptation - it's literal, to the extent of lifting whole passages from the novel. A reader's dream, I suppose. However, the final product is bland. I really can't say anything better, even taking into account the problems of adapting a stream-of-consciousness, internal-monologue-filled novel. This Mrs. Dalloway is robbed of its liricism and dynamism, which makes for a very tedious adaptation.
I guess it could be an useful tool for teaching the novel, but I wouldn't recommend this film for entertainment. I hope I like The Hours better!