Dolores Claiborne [DVD] [1995]

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.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Feature-length commentary by director Taylor Hackford
  • Interactive menus
  • Production notes
  • Scene access
  • Languages and subtitles: English, Français

Synopsis

Dolores Claiborne
A daughter who has come to imagine the worst about her mother learns the facts are quite different -- and more shocking than she ever imagined -- in this adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling novel. Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) has spent nearly a quarter of a century looking after a mean-spirited woman named Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt) on a small island off the coast of Maine; when Vera is found dead after falling down a flight of stairs, Dolores is considered a prime suspect in her murder. Word of the affair reaches New York-based journalist Selena St. George (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Dolores's estranged daughter. Though she's about to leave on an important assignment, Selena instead flies to Maine to find out what's happened with her mother. Selena's father, Joe St. George (David Strathairn), died under mysterious circumstances 15 years before; more than a few people believe Dolores killed Joe, and many feel she did the same with Vera. Though the strong and tough-talking Dolores stands her ground, police detective John Mackey (Christopher Plummer) is convinced that there's more to her story than she's letting on, and in time Selena learns the ugly truth about her mother's connection to both deaths. This was Kathy Bates's second starring role in a film based on Stephen King's work; she earned an Academy Award for her breakthrough role in the movie version of King's Misery. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kathy Bates
    Kathy Bates - Dolores Claiborne
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh
    Jennifer Jason Leigh - Selena St. George
  • Judy Parfitt
    Judy Parfitt - Vera Donovan
  • Christopher Plummer
    Christopher Plummer - Detective John Mackey
  • David Strathairn
    David Strathairn - Joe St. Goerge
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