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October 20, 2020 | Rome, Italy

Misery

By | 2018-03-21T18:30:25+01:00 November 10th, 2004|Reviews|

3

Date: 1990

Director: Rob Reiner

Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates

When bestselling Gothic romance author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) veers off the road in the snowy Colorado woods, he’s rescued and tended to by super-fan (and former nurse) Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Annie isn’t happy that Sheldon has killed off his heroine Misery Chastaine. Recovering and snowed in, Paul patronizes her. He’s just a writer making a buck. Annie is not placated.

Rob Reiner runs Stephen King’s nightmare story (extrapolated from the perils of fame, his own) about hero-worship, claustrophobia and madness like a stage play, giving cranky Caan and sweet-‘n’-chunky Bates the room necessary to work up mutual disdain. Still crippled by his injuries, Sheldon is a bystander to Annie’s ascending madness. And Annie is convinced of sadism’s curative powers. Watching Bates “hobble” her beloved is viscerally intimate and disconcerting . It’s Grand Guignol Gothed-out and weaponized. Bates won the 1990 best actress Oscar.

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