Release Year: 1995
Director: Taylor Hackford
Writers: Tony Gilroy (screenplay), Stephen King (novel Dolores Claiborne)
Starring: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt, David Strathairn, Eric Bogosian, John C. Reilly, Ellen Muth, Bob Gunton
Rating: Nominated for 3 Saturn Awards: Best Actress (Kathy Bates), Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Best Music.
Selena St. George (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a big city reporter, returns to her small hometown in Maine when her estranged mother, Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates), is accused of murdering her employer Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt).
This intense drama from he pen of Stephen King was written with Kathy Bates in mind after King was so impressed with her performance in Misery (1990). And as Bates did as Annie Wilkes, she steals the show as Dolores Claiborne. Although the story is very good, it is a character study of a hardworking New England woman who has had her ups and downs. Through conversations with her estranged and recently returned daughter (an excellent Jennifer Jason Leigh) the mystery of the murder for which she is accused as well as events in the past are revealed. King has written a Drea part for Bates that fits her perfectly, and director Taylor Hackford (The Devil’s Advocate, 1997) surrounds her with lovely serenity and a stellar that includes, apart from the aforementioned Leigh, Christopher Plummer (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2011), David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, 2005), and last but not least a wonderful Judy Parfitt (Girl with a Pearl Earring, 2003). A riveting drama with strong female characters centered around a good central crime mystery. Highly recommended
Judy Parfitt was recommended for the role of Vera by director Taylor Hackford’s wife, Helen Mirren. Parfitt’s career was confined mostly to the theatre and television and she was largely unknown to movie goers at the time. After auditioning with Kathy Bates, Bates turned to Hackford and exclaimed “Who was that?” and they agreed to cast her on the spot.
Picture Copyright: Sandrew Metronome