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Dolores Claiborne
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Product Description

Dark secrets, family torments, and two murders swirl around the stoic, hardened figure of Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates), a housekeeper accused of murdering her employer of 22 years. Then there was that timely accident that took Dolores's husband (David Strathairn) during the solar eclipse of 1975. Yet with all the somber suffering that follows Dolores like a miasma of pain, none of it compares with the heartache of a relationship she has with her grown daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Although this flick is rife with horror, it is not of the supernatural kind, but rather of the torment only real people can impose on one another. The script is full of colorful language, and director Taylor Hackford successfully weaves several plot threads and psychological dilemmas throughout this engrossing tale without diminishing any of them. He not only culls intense performances from his cast, but he also brings to life the landscape around them. When the film's best-kept secret is finally given up, it occurs under the surreal backdrop of a solar eclipse that is a truly sensational bit of cinematography. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews:

  • SUPERB!..
    This horror-drama movie isn't for all tastes, but is definetly a winner in my book. The movie is about a Maine woman (Kathy Bates) who is being convicted of murdering her employer (Judy Parfitt). Jennifer Jason Lee plays as her estranged daughter Selena who comes home to help her mom prove she didn't commit the alleged crime. The movie is very serious and powerful, and not as bloody as most Stephen King films, but still quite gripping. The film has absolutly no humor or comedy. It's all serious and moving. The acting is very realistic. David Strathairn is horribly perfect as the no-good scumbag husband.
    Not for the kiddies; the film contains domestic violence, strong language, and a scene of deviant sexual behavior. This movie should've won an oscar. It deserved it!...more info
  • Just a quietly great movie
    If you are looking for a movie that is a good psycho-drama, a mother/daughter story, a who-dun-it--with great acting, a great script, superior direction, beautifully filmed creative sequences--buy this movie. ...more info
  • Well acted, well scripted, and... see it
    Beautiful movie... one of those, so you judge this way? Well, what about this perspective... type stories. Well done, well scripted, well acted, and excellently directed....more info
  • I saw this during a lay-over....GRRREAT!
    I saw this movie in the theater close to a boat launch for a ferry to Nantucket way back in 1995. I was on the Cape from college and I had three hours to spend prior to my ferry, and chose to endure those hours watching a movie. I remember nothing about hearing about this film previous to walking in the movie theater's door, but I purchased a ticket because the guy behind the counter said Kathy Bates was in it. I went in not knowing anything about the plot. I came out enchanted by the visuals. The cinematography is breathtaking, the account of the story strong and well scripted. The acting was so above par. I am still surprised that this movie received so little acclaim and that I hardly heard a word about it prior to its release and post release. It's a strong movie. I'm buying it today because some of my in-laws have yet to view it. Poor people! I must lend it to them!...more info
  • The twist in our reaction to it .
    I'll start from the end : Kathy Bates playing a horrible person . Her own daughter hates her , everybody does ( including the viewers ). Little town in Maine ... she is a #1 suspect in a murder case of her employer . Detective on the case is an oldtimer , who was suspecting her in a death of her husband many years ago . How did I feel first half of this film ? I hated her sooo much . Case closed - she is guilty !
    Then the second half came in ... I was so upset at myself ! There is always a second side on every coin .
    Our feelings at 2 different sides of this story tear us apart and leave us confused and destroyed . Very different story based on a very different book by Stephen King ....more info
  • This is not `Misery' redux; just so you know...
    If you're expecting another `Misery' then you should walk away from this right now. While the main components may be the same (Steven King source; Kathy Bates performance) the end result couldn't be more different. This doesn't feel much like a horror movie as much as a psychological thriller, but that really shouldn't repel anyone from this great film. You just have to know what you are in for. So, I'll rephrase my opening statement.

    If you're expecting another `Misery' then you should wipe away all expectations and soak in this film for what it is and not what you think it is supposed to be.

    `Dolores Claiborne' tells the story of Dolores, a middle-aged woman working as a housekeeper in Maine. When her employer Vera winds up dead and Claiborne is found standing over her dead body with a weapon in hand it is only expected that she would wind up being the prime suspect. Dolores's grown daughter Selena, now working as a journalist, comes to see her mother during the investigation. They haven't spoken in years, and their reunion only stirs up awful memories of Selena's childhood and her father Joe who wound up dead when she was still quite young. Her mother was prime suspect at the time, but lack of evidence kept her from behind bars. The Detective who worked Joe's murder case is also working Vera's and his grudge against Dolores is what may wind up bringing closure to both these deaths.

    The storytelling here is amazing, for the film flows like a well written novel in that it manages to flesh out each and every scene. Sure, it could have been tightened in a few areas, but for the most part it is very fluid in its delivery.

    The real showcase here though is the acting. Kathy Bates is stellar as Dolores, delivering an award worthy performance that is the stark opposite of her Oscar winning turn in `Misery'. She is calm and reclusive and very guarded, but her inner suffering is boiling right under her skin. Judy Parfitt is also quite wonderful as Vera, Dolores's strong willed employer. Christopher Plummer is always outstanding, and his gruff delivery here brings his stock character to another level; and David Strathairn is unforgettable as the sadistic Joe. A lot of praise is heaped up Jennifer Jason Leigh in general. Many people consider her this amazing actress who is Oscar snubbed over and over but I can't really find a reason to consider her all that noteworthy. Everything I've seen of her has been decent at best, this performance included. I found her serviceable, and at times she was great, but nothing extraordinary, and nothing that most other actresses couldn't pull off.

    I wish that the film had been a little more intense, I will say that. The film flows almost so serenely that it lacks any real bite. This isn't a horrible thing, but it takes a little away from the end result. When the revelations were revealed it didn't feel so shocking or spine chilling because I felt numbed over by the films fluidity. It's a small gripe when you look at the big picture, but it's a gripe none-the-less. All in all though, `Dolores Claiborne' is a great film that is sure to satisfy any fan of the genre, the writer or the star....more info
  • allcanadianguy@shaw reviews * * *
    Who would like this? : drama, thriller & suspense fans

    Worth seeing?...
    -buy it : 8 bucks! yes
    -rent it : yes

    Cast:
    Kathy Bates
    Jennifer Jason Leigh
    David Strathairn
    Judy Parfitt
    John C. Reilly
    Eric Bogosian
    Christopher Plummer

    ____________________
    Taylor Hackford
    Director


    * All movies should be 8 bucks! A good story from none other than S.King...more info

  • Dolores Claiborne
    Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh are great in this one. A five star performance....more info
  • Captivating
    Kathy Bates is such a joy to watch! This mystery is a well acted, and well directed flick. I'm surprised that it didn't do better in the boc office, oh well.

    This is about Dolores who is suspected in a murder, the case ends up brining out ghosts from her past. I won't say more, except once again, what a great movie!...more info

  • Still holds up.
    Dolores Claiborne starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh is a thrilling and very under-rated film of 1995. Both these talented actress' pull off edgy and complicated characters with such ease. The twist ending is probably the best part of the movie, this film is somewhat shocking but in a good way. Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, Dolores Claiborne is one film not to be missed, enjoy!...more info
  • dvd
    This is a very good movie. It shows how someone with care/love can take care of a person they love that has dementia and can't take care of themselves anymore. Also to honor that person that has the dementia. ...more info
  • This is not `Misery' redux; just so you know...
    If you're expecting another `Misery' then you should walk away from this right now. While the main components may be the same (Steven King source; Kathy Bates performance) the end result couldn't be more different. This doesn't feel much like a horror movie as much as a psychological thriller, but that really shouldn't repel anyone from this great film. You just have to know what you are in for. So, I'll rephrase my opening statement.

    If you're expecting another `Misery' then you should wipe away all expectations and soak in this film for what it is and not what you think it is supposed to be.

    `Dolores Claiborne' tells the story of Dolores, a middle-aged woman working as a housekeeper in Maine. When her employer Vera winds up dead and Claiborne is found standing over her dead body with a weapon in hand it is only expected that she would wind up being the prime suspect. Dolores's grown daughter Selena, now working as a journalist, comes to see her mother during the investigation. They haven't spoken in years, and their reunion only stirs up awful memories of Selena's childhood and her father Joe who wound up dead when she was still quite young. Her mother was prime suspect at the time, but lack of evidence kept her from behind bars. The Detective who worked Joe's murder case is also working Vera's and his grudge against Dolores is what may wind up bringing closure to both these deaths.

    The storytelling here is amazing, for the film flows like a well written novel in that it manages to flesh out each and every scene. Sure, it could have been tightened in a few areas, but for the most part it is very fluid in its delivery.

    The real showcase here though is the acting. Kathy Bates is stellar as Dolores, delivering an award worthy performance that is the stark opposite of her Oscar winning turn in `Misery'. She is calm and reclusive and very guarded, but her inner suffering is boiling right under her skin. Judy Parfitt is also quite wonderful as Vera, Dolores's strong willed employer. Christopher Plummer is always outstanding, and his gruff delivery here brings his stock character to another level; and David Strathairn is unforgettable as the sadistic Joe. A lot of praise is heaped up Jennifer Jason Leigh in general. Many people consider her this amazing actress who is Oscar snubbed over and over but I can't really find a reason to consider her all that noteworthy. Everything I've seen of her has been decent at best, this performance included. I found her serviceable, and at times she was great, but nothing extraordinary, and nothing that most other actresses couldn't pull off.

    I wish that the film had been a little more intense, I will say that. The film flows almost so serenely that it lacks any real bite. This isn't a horrible thing, but it takes a little away from the end result. When the revelations were revealed it didn't feel so shocking or spine chilling because I felt numbed over by the films fluidity. It's a small gripe when you look at the big picture, but it's a gripe none-the-less. All in all though, `Dolores Claiborne' is a great film that is sure to satisfy any fan of the genre, the writer or the star....more info
  • Excellent acting, excellent movie
    First rate acting; first rate movie. Kathy Bates and Jennifer are excellent in these roles. Great supporting actors too. Worth every penny and time in watching....more info
  • All around GREAT film
    This tale of murder, family dysfunction, and addiction was inexplicably ignored during Oscar time. When I first saw this film, I thought Kathy Bates had walked away with the Oscar for 1995 before she even set foot on the stage. Her Delores is such a beautifully, touchingly, crustily complex character that she just pops off the screen at you. And the writing has some of the best dialogue in years which still holds up.

    The entire casting for this film was done beautifully. Leigh is typically intense, but does a nice turn as the victim of abuse (no shrinking violet here). And the character of Vera is just magic in her diabolical sweetness.

    King crafts one of his finest works with this film, and the cinematography is breathtaking, not losing it's beauty on the small screen which is very difficult with this transition.

    This is a film that multiple screenings enhance your understanding of it, and the extras make this too good a flick to pass up....more info

  • "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK ON STEPHEN KING 'S DOOR"
    Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh take us to the limits of the
    unbearable... Great actors and unforgettable performances...
    No one can remain indifferent to this inevitable story !...more info
  • On my 10 BEST OF ALL TIME list!
    I can't say it any better than the others that gave this movie 5 stars so I'll just say read those reviews and ignore the 2 star reviews. They absolutely don't know what they're talking about. Note: Just because it's from Stephen King doesn't mean it has to be a horror movie. He can write great drama/suspense/mystery too, without resorting to supernatural themes....more info
  • Mindblowingly powerful, compelling, disturbing masterpiece
    This movie is not for the fainthearted! Dolores Claiborne is a visceral depiction of both the evils humans can and often do inflict on each other, and the results of years of misunderstanding, bitterness, selfishness and hatred within the frameworks of a family and a small town. The acting is uniformly superb, the cinematography atmospheric and even creepy at times, the music hauntingly beautiful and poignant. Highest recommendation!...more info
  • Dolores Claiborne
    Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh are great in this one. A five star performance....more info
  • Oscar caliber
    Perfectly cast, beautifully filmed, brilliantly acted by every actor. A stunner and a must see! Shamefully overlooked by the Oscars that year. One of Stephen King's finest along with Shawshank Redemption. ...more info
  • King's Done it Again!
    I love Stephen King! This story was a great one to add to my Stephen King collection! Once again he has us entranced! From beginning to end this story will keep you engrossed! So, if you enjoyed "The Stand", "Misery", and other works by Stephen King, this film is for you! Or, if you're one of those people who says, "I want to see a good movie." Well, this is it!!! Get your popcorn and get comfortable for this thoroughly enjoyable suspense drama!...more info
  • A Powerful Love Story
    The film is a true to life portrayal of domestic abuse, systematic dysfunction, and the incredible damage endured by a family controlled by an alcoholic sadist. For me, ultimately, the film is about what lengths a mother will go through to help her daughter. Even if it meant the loss of that primary relationship, Dolores does what she thinks is necessary to protect her daughter. This is the love story.
    Kathy Bates has never fit into a character so well, and the editing, creative melding of the past and the present, provides a compelling, gritty ground for the drama. Love between women is rarely dramatized as well as it was in this film.
    The men are superfluous, and riveting in their contempt for the female characters. This movie is extremely powerful, provocative, and evocative. Ultimately, I believe the movie was not formally recognized by the Hollywood community because they simply could not handle the subject matter.
    For the men that control things, this movies strikes too close to home. Or just maybe, the ultimate act performed during the solar eclipse scared one man too many. One of my favorite films of all time....more info
  • Great drama/suspense
    Watched long ago on TV, happy to find it on DVD, great story, and performances...also inspired me to visit Maine...one of the few states i havent visit yet...can't wait....more info