General assessment ***SPOILERS***

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Neil W

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2008
1,203
2,591
Isle of Wight UK
Selena St George reluctantly returns to the small Maine island where she grew up, and where her estranged mother Dolores is being held by police. Dolores worked for bitter old crippled woman Vera Donovan, and following Vera dying after falling downstairs, Detective Mackey is holding her on suspicion of murder: after all, he is convinced she murdered her husband, but he couldn't prove it.

This is adapted from one of Stephen King's shorter and most subtle books: though not without its nightmarish elements, it is far from a horror story, and King wrote the character Dolores with Kathy Bates in mind.

The story unwinds through flashbacks, and the intermingling of recollection, reality and prejudicial interpretation keep the mystery element working throughout the film. All five principle performers (Bates as Dolores, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Selena, Judy Parfitt as Vera, Christopher Plummer as Mackey, and David Strathairn as Joe St George) are excellent, as is the adaptation by Tony Gilroy and the direction by Taylor Hackford.

This is not only the great overlooked Stephen King adaptations, it is also probably the classiest.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,246
121,974
Spokane, WA
On a side note- all of the flashback scenes are filmed in vivid color, while all of the present scenes are faded and washed out, to reflect what has become of Delores' heart, soul and mind. There are alot of great scenes in this film. This is definately a vastly over-looked and under-rated movie. Every cast member gives a great performance. Kathy Bates should have received at least an Oscar nomination for her portrayal. There's alot of folken who didn't care for Jennifer Jason Leigh's portrayal of Selena, but I think she is absolutely spot-on here. Each time I watch this film I come away with more admiration for what she did with her role.
 

Tim D.

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2013
704
1,335
47
Kentucky
I watched Dolores Claiborne last night. I don't think I had seen it since it was first released on video cassette and I rented it. This is definitely one of the most over looked and little seen SK adaptations, and also one of the best. It retains more of the flavor of the book than most of the adaptations do and if you are a King fan and have not bothered to watch this film then I highly recommend that you do so.
 

tee

Member
Jun 24, 2014
18
56
52
Tim D. (post) is spot on. Great book & well made movie to boot. I have seen the movie 3 times. Wish they were all filmed this good. I told my family members about the movie, and most do not read SK, they liked it as well.
 

Larra

New Member
May 17, 2016
1
2
69
Selena St George reluctantly returns to the small Maine island where she grew up, and where her estranged mother Dolores is being held by police. Dolores worked for bitter old crippled woman Vera Donovan, and following Vera dying after falling downstairs, Detective Mackey is holding her on suspicion of murder: after all, he is convinced she murdered her husband, but he couldn't prove it.

This is adapted from one of Stephen King's shorter and most subtle books: though not without its nightmarish elements, it is far from a horror story, and King wrote the character Dolores with Kathy Bates in mind.

The story unwinds through flashbacks, and the intermingling of recollection, reality and prejudicial interpretation keep the mystery element working throughout the film. All five principle performers (Bates as Dolores, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Selena, Judy Parfitt as Vera, Christopher Plummer as Mackey, and David Strathairn as Joe St George) are excellent, as is the adaptation by Tony Gilroy and the direction by Taylor Hackford.

This is not only the great overlooked Stephen King adaptations, it is also probably the classiest.
I agree. That King wrote the character with Kathy Bates in mind makes sense. Her portrayal of Dolores is absolutely perfect. I've watched the movie 3 or 4 times, just to enjoy here performance.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,246
121,974
Spokane, WA
I agree. That King wrote the character with Kathy Bates in mind makes sense. Her portrayal of Dolores is absolutely perfect. I've watched the movie 3 or 4 times, just to enjoy here performance.
The character of Delores Claiborne is based on Steve's own Mom, not on Kathy Bates. It's her (Steve's Mom) 'voice' throughout the entire book- it's how she talked, how she used words and her phrasing. I agree that Bates performance is spot-on- she's the only actress that could have played this part and it's a shame that it was overlooked by the critics and by Hollywood. It's a meatier part than that of Annie Wilkes from Misery. Bates deserved an Oscar!!!!
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
85,148
340,147
57
Cambridge, Ohio
The character of Delores Claiborne is based on Steve's own Mom, not on Kathy Bates. It's her (Steve's Mom) 'voice' throughout the entire book- it's how she talked, how she used words and her phrasing. I agree that Bates performance is spot-on- she's the only actress that could have played this part and it's a shame that it was overlooked by the critics and by Hollywood. It's a meatier part than that of Annie Wilkes from Misery. Bates deserved an Oscar!!!!
 
Aug 9, 2016
10
36
44
I loved both the movie and book so much. It's one of those adaptations that meshes so smoothly with the book. I feel like they were able to re-create the relationships and the feel of the novel. I also really loved the aspect of the color alterations between now and then that you mentioned. I felt it provided tone and context in a way that really mattered for the book to convert to a movie well.

The casting was on point, the location is perfect and the script was really well done. This is one of those movies that is a real surprise if you haven't seen it before.
 
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Aug 9, 2016
10
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44
And I thought the guy who played Joe was perfect. He made me so uncomfortable.
I just saw him in a movie last night and, without remembering he played Joe, I instantly thought of him as a molester creep and had to shake it off to refocus on the movie. It wasn't till I just read your post that I remembered it was him and it all clicked into place. Poor guy, great acting but...unfortunate long-term associations. Lol
 
Mar 2, 2017
18
116
29
I just watched this movie for the first time a couple of nights ago! I thought they did a good job capturing the tone of the book! I wish they didn't make Joe's Death so quick in the movie though! It seemed like he hung on a for a day or so in the book, and I loved the suspense of Dolores having to keep checking on him.
 
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nalaa

Banned
Jul 27, 2017
132
503
27
This is not only the great overlooked Stephen King adaptations, it is also probably the classiest.
 
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jdt827

Member
Jan 30, 2019
18
82
28
This will forever be a movie I absolutely love and I'm so disappointed it doesn't have a more mainstream reputation of being a near masterpiece if not a full on masterpiece. It's so easily forgotten because it's not straight horror like IT, Misery, and The Shining. But it's also not mainstream enough like The Green Mile or Shawshank. I haven't read the book. Is there any reason I should after having seen the movie?
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
16,536
77,933
42
United States
This will forever be a movie I absolutely love and I'm so disappointed it doesn't have a more mainstream reputation of being a near masterpiece if not a full on masterpiece. It's so easily forgotten because it's not straight horror like IT, Misery, and The Shining. But it's also not mainstream enough like The Green Mile or Shawshank. I haven't read the book. Is there any reason I should after having seen the movie?
Yeah, you should read the book. It's even better, packed with extra information and extra characters. Welcome to the board!
 
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