March 28, 1995 -- ``Dolores Claiborne'' is among the best of the many Stephen King film adaptations that have come along in recent years. It is a notch below ``Shawshank Redemption,'' however.
Kathy Bates, who plays the title character is perfect for the role of a tough, hard-working woman who gives no quarter and asks for none. Jennifer Jason Leigh is also excellent as her drug-dependent, troubled daughter. Christopher Plummer is also very good as the tenacious Detective Mackey.
The plot is a little like Les Miserables with Mackey playing the part of the relentless pursuer Javert and Claiborne in the role of Jean Valjean. Mackey is trying to pin a murder on Claiborne because he believes that she got away with another murder nearly 20 years before.
It's like a double murder mystery, did Claiborn kill her husband years ago and did she kill Vera Donovan (who is expertly played by Judy Parfitt)? The plot doesn't give away those answers until the last possible moments in the movie. Director Taylor Hackford does a good job holding the story together through a lot of flashbacks. Cinematographer Gabriel Beristain also does a good job of creating a really creepy mood, including some good solar eclipse shots. This film rates a B.
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