A cinematic experience. Kathy Bates and Jennifer
Jason-Leigh deliver two powerful performances as mother and
daughter in this striking adaptation of the Stephen King novel
about a woman facing her second accusation of first degree
The trail of events and human relationships is scattered
with endless questions and ambiguities. Dolores is a woman of
the earth, dealing with life and with pain. Unquestionably,
along with The Shining and The Dead Zone, this is one of the
three best film versions to date derived from Scary Stephen's
Among the members of a spectacular supporting cast special
mention must be made of Judy Parfitt for her magnificent
portrayal of Vera Donovan, Claiborne's intolerant and intolerable
employer, whose suspicious death sets off the chain of events in
the film. All of the performances, however, show how effective
a film can be without the necessity of resorting to special
effects in order to keep an audience's attention. There is,
nonetheless, exceptional FX work present in the stunning solar
eclipse sequence for this film which both supports and enhances
the story line.
The screenplay is beautifully crafted by Tony Gilroy, who has
managed to sculpt a story that captivates the audience. It's no
wonder that he comes to the screen so well-equipped, having had
no less than Jay Presson Allen and William Goldman as mentors as
well as being the son of Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank D.
Tony Gilroy establishes himself with this film as a
talent to be reckoned with. He has converted the original novel
from a first-person monologue into mother-daughter psychological
drama. One interesting anecdote behind the scenes concerns an
event on location in Nova Scotia: It seems that "Studio B"
burned to the ground eliminating any possibility of future
filming in Vera Donovan's luxurious bedroom suite. Tony Gilroy
was able to rewrite scenes literally on the spot.
Of course, a good script can be ruined by a bad director.
Luckily, in this case, the extremely competent talents of Taylor
Hackford have rendered a beautiful, sensitive, thrilling, and
exciting portrait of a fictional private life in Little Tall
Director of Photography Gabriel Beristain has
created entrancing and sometimes breathtaking images which
continually enrich, without disturbing, the development of the
tale. More of the same goes for Bruno Rubeo's production design,
Mark Warner's editing, and Danny Elfman's score.
How wonderful it is to see a film that utilizes so many cinematic
elements and succeeds with all of them. Superb points for, as
mentioned above, script, directing, acting, cinematography,
production, design, editing, and original score. What else is
there left to say?
Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto in life?
A DON'T MISS.
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett