Dolores Claiborne works as a maid for a wealthy woman in remote Maine. When she is indicted for the elderly woman's murder, Dolores' daughter Selena returns from New York, where she has become a big-shot reporter. In the course of working out the details of what has happened, as well as some shady questions from the past and Selena's troubled childhood, many difficult truths are revealed about their family's domestic strife. This is cleverly portrayed with present reality shot in cool blue tones blending seamlessly into flashbacks shot in vivid color. As small town justice relentlessly grinds forward, surprises lie in store for the viewers.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
In preparation for her role, Ellen Muth wrote in a journal as her character in the movie for weeks before shooting the film. See more »
In the beginning of the movie, when Kathy Bates returns to her home, she swipes off pieces of glass on the outside of a window. Apparently the window was thrown in by an object from outside. Glass pieces would have been on the inside of the house. See more »
It isn't quite fair to say that 'Dolores Claiborne' is a one-woman show, but let's face it; it's pretty much a virtuoso performance from Kathy Bates. She dominates virtually every scene she's in, shows tremendous range, from tender to sour and bitter, to borderline maniacal, and leaves you wondering who else on Earth could possibly have pulled it off.
That's not to belittle the rest of the cast. The other actors are adequate at very least, and Judy Parfitt puts in a performance as the bedridden Vera Donovan, which is the one time that Bates is slightly overshadowed.
Briefly, a middle-aged, working-class widow (Bates) in a small Maine town (where else, for SK?) is suspected of murdering her rich, elderly employer (Parfitt) in an apparently open and shut case. Christopher Plummer is the nasty lawman who is convinced she also killed her husband years before. Meanwhile, her estranged daughter from New York comes up to cover the story for a newspaper, and... well, you don't really need to know any more details before seeing the movie.
It's adapted from a Stephen King novel, and being a drama rather than a supernatural story, it has a flying headstart, being in the company of 'Green Mile', 'Stand By Me', and 'Shawshank Redemption' rather than 'Christine' or 'Salem's Lot'. Whereas it isn't in the exalted league of those movies, it's miles ahead of most of the horror adaptation of King stories. Take Bates out and it might be rather ordinary, but as it it, Dolores gets a very solid 7.0 from me.
24 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?