Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Paul's "number one fan", who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains (without bothering to tell anybody). Unfortunately for Paul, Annie is also a headcase. When she discovers that Paul has killed off the heroine in her favorite novels, her reaction leaves Paul shattered (literally)... Written by
Andrew Backhouse (andback74)
Shining, shocking dark comedy in the Hitchcock mold
Writer William Goldman and director Rob Reiner do Hitchcock proud with this one. It has all the elements: a seemingly innocent place and situation invaded by a growing sense of sinister dread until a breathtaking climax. The intelligent script is peppered with moments that will either make you cringe or make you laugh, depending on how morbid your sense of humor is. It is a harrowing movie to watch the first time around. The crew has done a good job of making you feel Paul Sheldon's pain. Few films torture the audience like this one. In fact, I venture to say this is the best film of its kind since "Psycho" thirty years earlier.
The acting is good all-round. Farnsworth steals every scene he's in with his sardonic and relentless sheriff - he did not get enough accolades for what would have been a routine part in a lesser actor's hands. Caan is solid and underplays beautifully, and the inimitable Kathy Bates carries the film with her alternately hysterical or ridiculously-sappy Annie, the psychotic Sheldon fan. Her performance is a throwback to Hollywood's old days - it's not subtle, not quiet, and borders on over-acting. This is not method acting, this is showing off. But Bates makes it work, investing Annie with enough pitifulness to make the character complex and, thus, hold the role together. This movie is famous, of course, for making Kathy Bates an overnight sensation as everybody went into the movie wanting to see what Sonny Corleone looked like as an older man, but left with accolades for Kathy Bates on their lips. She is absolutely terrifying and unforgettable in this role and perfect for it.
Brilliant performance that elevated a 7-star thriller to 9-10 classic status.
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