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Dolores Claiborne
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  • Women are by far more complex than men!
    ? Dolores Claiborne ? is one of the most beautiful book by Stephen King. But the film, in spite of all the shortcuts it has to use, is even better because of one actress, Kathy Bates. She does not act. She lives on the screen, and that is so rare that it gives to the film the poignancy of real life. It is a rare story too. The story of three women and one man. The mother first who suffers everything for her daughter. She suffers the molesting for her husband because he is the father of her daughter. But yet she gets one day to the point where she can't stand it any more and she puts a stop to it, though it does not change much, except maybe that it makes this father become bent onto vengeance. The daughter who is the apple of the eye of her mother and she is blind to the mistreatment of her mother because she is in love with her father. In love forever, even when this love is exploited by the father to turn the daughter into a surrogate of his wife. She will forget it, full stop, period and that will be all. Till the day she finally remembers. Finally the boss, Vera, a domineering woman who exploits Dolores as if she were a house slave. And yet it is a love story too, the love story of two women who were neglected and wounded by their husbands, the love of two women who managed to cause an accident to get rid of their husbands. The love of two women that are so much alike and yet so different that they are perfect doubles, braindoubles, just like we have bodydoubles in the cinema. The father is limited in his brain. He is an alcoholic. He is his own daughter's molester. Then the story is that of the coming back of the memory in the daughter's head eighteen years later. It is the story of several knots in the mental plots that the lives of these three women are. Vera finally commits suicide because her getting old makes her hate life and become so bitchy that it is unbearable even for herself. Vera begs for Dolores to finish her up and Dolores accepts though she is too late and she cannot perform. Yet this is the prompter of another desire for vengeance in the main inspector of the island who was not able to have Dolores indicted for the death of her husband. And the whole film becomes the defeat of this old vengeful and hateful detective who cannot see human feelings and human actions but through the narrowing glass of his hatred. This trio of women is a rare situation in Stephen King's books, maybe the only one. It is a lot deeper than the women portraits we have in ? The Tommyknockers ?. It is deeper because it is only human, with no special effects and no aliens. Just plain human beings with their emotions, their fears and their hopes. And Kathy Bates transcend the plot to make it nothing but a voyage into real life. And it is real life indeed. Not a real life we dream of, but a real life we carry in our memory and in our deepest impulses. We know we would do the same thing if we were in those very same situations. And those situations occur everyday in our world. A thrilling psychological journey into the humanity of women for whom death has the taste of life and life the taste of torture. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX....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
  • 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
  • Outstanding!
    This movie has become my favorite. All star cast who each do an outstanding job. Should have won Many academy awards. Danny Elfman also does a outstanding with score. You won't be disapointed> ...more info
  • Washed Up King
    This is a right here right now washed up King after nothing through most of the 80s. Any horror elements are now completely gone and this is instead a serious drama. Feel sorry for King after the last scary thing he made was the made for TV it. King just isn't scary any more, neither is any more recent horror. Only Dario Argento and the cult of Fulci can keep horror alive now. ...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
  • 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
  • Claiborne Holds Firm to the Book
    In Taylor Hackford's best film to date Kathy Bates plays the title character and her exquisite performance rivals her own in Misery as the best adaptation of a Stephen King character. After being accused of murder Dolores' daughter, Selena, is summoned to her aid by a mysterious fax, the origins of which are left open to interpretation. Playing Selena if Jennifer Jason Leigh who gives her typical powerhouse performance but tackles it with a less heavy-handed approach. After twety years estranged from her mother, and the past in general, she returns home only to find painful memories and harsh questions from an old adversary, played by the Christopher Plummer and he's a marvel as the investigating officer whose closed eighty-five of the eighty-six homocides he's investigated. The one exception is Dolores' husband whose death was deemed an accident but he believes otherwise. The story unfolds like a finely layered film noir. David Strathairn (here we go again) brings a human touch to the abusive husband who could've fallen into the typical sterotype of film villians in less suitable hands. As you might of guessed the cast is nothing short of a marvel to watch and are helped immeasurably by Hackford's inventive and visually stunning direction. Scribe Tony Gilroy has crafted one of the finest adaptations of ANY novel, showing restraint and sensitivity in downplaying some of the cheesier moments from the book. In doing so he shows respect to the subject matter and maintains the engrossingly steady pace of the film. All in all it's one of the finest, though sadly overlooked, movies of 1995 and should be on every Bates/King/Plummer/Strathairn/Hackford fans must-own list....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
    There is nothing Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, nor Judy Parfitt could have done to make this a more masterful piece of American cinema. I've not one single complaint...from the opening score to the end credits, this film is perfect. Kathy deserved the Oscar for "Misery," but even more so for this performance. Judy Parfitt was the ONLY choice for Vera (thank God she took the role), and Jennifer's tortured performance was as outstanding and solid as any of the others. Can't wait for this to make it to Blu-ray!...more info
  • Uniquely Outstanding...
    This film presents one of the most realistic and compelling acting performances ever portrayed. The artistry of Kathy Bates in bringing to life the tragic face of Delores Claiborne is at once marvelous, painfully sad, and simply unforgettable. The entire feel of this production represents film making at it's very best. Not only will it pull you in and make you think about what's important in life, but it will remind you that life is mostly about loss, perseverance and survival for many unfortunate souls....more info
  • Did She or Didn't She?
    After her employer is found dead with Dolores still holding some very incriminating evidence, she is put back on the hotseat. Not only for the death of her employer, but also for the death of her husband years earlier for which she was acquitted. People in town, though, were never quite convinced of her innocence on that one, so Dolores must explain away both deaths somehow. This is an excellent adaptation of the Stephen King novel. The stars-Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, and Christopher Plummer are all first-rate. I also recommend the book....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
  • dolores clayborne
    This CD is adapted from a Steven King novel. Like most of his books,the scene is New England.Excellent acting by under-rated actress,Kathy Bates.She is mistreated by her alcoholic spouse and is unjustly accused of killing him. Her daughter is forced into an incestuous with her boozing father. All together, an excellent movie,typical New England small town scenes,good direction & acting....more info
  • Family Drama
    Selina St. George(Jennifer Jason Leigh)is flabergasted when she reads in the newspaper that her estranged mother Delores Claiborne(Kathy Bates)has been accused of murder. She rushes home, a small town in Maine, to offer help, not that she believes her to be innocent- she has suspicions going back 20 years. The two circle warily around each other piecing together past and present, memory and fact, like and dislike. You will be kept on the edge of your seat as this film goes on-and-on finally revealing the truth behind two mysterious deaths; the truth will astound you....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 of the few states i havent visit yet...can't wait....more info
  • Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.
    Selena St George has seen better days. She was once an award winning writer, but now it looks like she may lose her job and she can't seem able to get through the day without a drink. To make matters worse, her mother, Dolores Claiborne, has just been arrested for murder. The strange thing is that it's not the first time Dolores Claiborne has been accused of killing someone. Selena is forced to return home. However, it's not for a happy family reunion because these two women have dark secrets that they both are trying to forget...

    Dolores Claiborne is one of those films that men just don't get (which is ironic since the novel and the screenplay were both written by men). I can understand why men get somewhat agitated when watching Dolores as in this story they are definitely the villains. At their best, they are just guilty of adultery, but at their worst, they are violent child molesters. In fact, you almost get the impression that John C. Reilly's nice guy, Police Constable character was just thrown in to appease male viewers and remind women that not all men are violent lechers. But if you can get over what is arguably some blatant guy-bashing, you'll find yourself enjoying this film. It is wonderfully written, brilliantly acted, and you will not be able to keep yourself from cheering Dolores on, as she watches her husband fall down that pit.

    You can look at this film in two ways-- as a blatant misandry or as a drama about one woman who will do anything to protect her child.
    ...more info
  • Mediocre Novel, Marvelous Film
    Setting the tone for Stephen King's first-person narrative of murder and suspense, "Dolores Claiborne" begins with the title character's integrity becoming questionable as she holds a rolling pin high above her head at the foot of a banister, ready to strike. At her feet bloody and broken lies Vera Donovan, the mistress of the house and her employer of over 20 years. She is on the brink of death and holds Dolores' perturbed gaze, pleading with her as the neighborhood mailman walks in the house with a satchel full of envelopes and, along with the audience, makes the horrible assumption that Dolores has just committed a vile and immoral act. From this abrupt and climactic scene, a visual and psychological masterpiece blooms from the unique and aesthetic interpretation of a fledgling director, giving King's quirky but engaging yarn about a tough-as-nails New Englander an authentic and absorbing effervescence.

    When King began penning his tale of a hard-luck Maine woman with a dark past, his mind was on Kathy Bates, the actress who delivered a disconcerting representation of an obsessive fan in 1990's horror hit "Misery". Her volatile and freakish performance merited her an Oscar for Best Actress, gaining King's favor and securing another spotlight role for her in his next adaptation. She has proven herself to be a theatrical powerhouse once more as the austere and brazen Dolores, a woman whose sympathetic spirit has stiffened from enduring countless catastrophes in the course of her toilsome existence. Bates is a formidable talent but her fellow cast members are impressive notwithstanding. Jennifer Jason Leigh is straightforward and affecting as Selena, Dolores' estranged and embittered daughter. She plays the skeptical and begrudged bit effectively, adjoining savage and repressed emotion to match her lank and pallid appearance. Christopher Plummer as the dogged detective John Mackey is the perfect contrareity of courtly manner and gritty resolve, his refined forte as an actor a befitting blend to this generation's turnout of talented thespians. Last but not least, Judy Parfitt makes the icy and callous Vera Donovan believably sympathetic, bringing to light an understanding for her rigid nature as the audience becomes acquainted with every character and Dolores' established pasts with them. Vera may seem harsh, but she is nowhere in the bounds of being as despicable as Joe, Dolores' abusive and alcoholic husband. David Strathairn was surprisingly convincing as the contemptuous and simple-minded boozer, an insecure and self-destructive man who finds his comfort in his stature as a stone-hard wifebeater. Stephen King writes his characters well, absorbing either his reader or his viewer into their worlds, and there are powerful moments for each of them in this two-hour character study.

    Two moments that strike me the most are, first and foremost, a prolonged frame of the dilapidated house upon the island in the last winks of daylight as the evening consumes the earth. A thick and cloudy crimson sky swallows the dark and crumbling property that is singularly lit by an ominous, ghostly blue light on the porch. If one were to pause the film at this exact moment, they would feel as if they were looking at the eerie and mesmerizing cover art intended for this very novel. Another is the arresting moment when Selena recollects the enervating sexual abuse from her father while riding upon the local ferry. She envisions herself and Joe sitting upon a bench, Joe taking her numb hands and pulling them toward his lap. Her brow is furrowed and she is whimpering with pain and resistance as she casts her eyes down to the floor, fighting tears. When she looks back up, she fixes her gaze this time directly to the camera and her face smoothes to a neutral expression, blank and emotionless. You know at this moment there is a complete detachment, one she has unwillingly mastered throughout the years to cleverly disguise her burgeoning agony. Credit must also be given to Taylor Hackford for the ingeniously devised method of blending past and present with consistent and numerous flashbacks that take place throughout the film. The dull and grayish palettes are literally wiped over with full and vibrant technicolor memories that create a comprehensive separation between the past and the here and now.

    King has always been an incredible writer, but this is the first time that a film has ever surpassed the novel that birthed it. Leave it to Kathy Bates to steal the prize, but it is a welcome theft for the justice she gave to "Misery". "Dolores Claiborne" is a screenplay well orchestrated and brilliantly directed, the sparkling gem in the entire library of Stephen King films....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
  • 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
  • Dolores Claiborne
    Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh are great in this one. A five star performance....more info