Five years after winning an Academy Award in Rob Reiner's adaptation of the Stephen King novel Misery, Kathy Bates returned to familiar territory in the dramatic thriller Dolores Claiborne, also based on a best-selling book by Stephen King. Directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Christopher Plummer, this Warner Brothers DVD edition of Dolores Claiborne includes an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer that looks very sharp. Shrouded in drab grays and blues, Dolores Claiborne is a very dark movie with only hints of bright colors and crisp flesh tones. However, the darkness doesn't hinder the image, as the blue and gray levels are very precise and clear. Some dirt and grain is spotted, but overall this is a very well-done transfer filled with little to no edge enhancement and only the slightest amount of shimmer. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (in both French and English) and, unfortunately, is not quite as impressive as the transfer. Dolores Claiborne is a good example of a movie that might have greatly benefited from a new Dolby Digital 5.1 remix. As it stands, this track is clean of any defects or distortion. The dialogue, effects, and music are all evenly mixed, most prominently Danny Elfman's darkly lush score, which can be heard over most of the track. Also included on this disc are English and French subtitles.Dolores Claiborne might be considered almost bare bones if it weren't for a commentary track by director Taylor Hackford. Although the track is not as fun as some audio commentaries, Hackford certainly is chatty and generous with behind-the-scenes stories on the making of the film. Fans should delight in some coveted information on author Stephen King, as well as what was kept and cut from the book to the screen. Also included on this disc are cast and crew biographies on the principal film participants, as well as a short article on how the filmmakers concocted the special effects for the solar eclipse. Mysteriously lacking is a theatrical trailer for the film itself. If not filled to the brim with extras, this edition of Dolores Claiborne should keep viewers warm on those long, cold Maine nights.
Feature-length commentary by director Taylor Hackford
An intensely emotional and profound account of a mother and daughter's relationship that spans years of separation. How they withstand the impact of past events that cannot be changed affects a tentative future.
I remember seeing Dolores Claiborne years ago and how it stayed with me, long after the credits rolled, I was captivated by the story and by Kathy Bate's extraordinary performance as the titular character. When I was older, I bought the book and the film. Watched it a few times--still captivated by Bate's haunting performance. In essence, Dolores Claiborne is a character study, albeit a haunting and deeply emotional one. For the Stephen King movie aficionados, it's a must add in your movie collection. For the rest? It's an outstanding film.