Director: Rob Reiner
Running time: 107 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK Release date: 10th May 1991
Watched on Sky+ Monday 2nd May 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have been a fan of the works of Stephen King for many years now but, sadly, they seldom translate well to the big screen. This is a rare exception and one I have seen several times before. It is best known for the stand-out performance from Kathy Bates, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1991, and deservedly so (IMO). A very tense thriller, it grabs your attention and leads you down a dark path into the twisted mind of Annie Wilkes.
Paul Sheldon is a writer, he has been writing a very successful series of romance novels featuring the heroine Misery. He now wants to write something new and has gone to Colorado to find some isolation so he can finish off his new book. On his way back he is involved in a car crash and is rescued by nurse, Annie Wilkes. It turns out that Annie is also his number one fan. After a few days, Paul’s agent, Marcia Sindell contacts the local Sheriff, Buster, and he starts looking for him. Annie looks after Paul, who was quite badly injured in the crash, she is allowed to read his new book, but doesn’t like it since Misery isn’t in it. Fortunately the new Misery novel has just been published, but when she reads it, things take a nasty turn for Paul. He has killed off Misery and Annie really doesn’t like the idea of that one bit.
It’s a pretty well made film with the action switching between Paul and Annie and Sheriff Buster’s investigation. Great perfromances all round; I’ve already mentioned Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes, she was tremendous. James Caan did a pretty good job as Paul Sheldon too, as did Richard Farnsworth as Buster and Frances Sternhagen as his wife Virginia. I must also give a special mention to Lauren Bacall as Marcia Sindell, she’s not on screen for long, but she still has such great presence.
This is one of those films I could happily watch at least once a year. I love Kathy Bates in this role, she slowly becomes more and more psychotic as the film progresses, it’s great to watch! James Caan does a good job too, trying to win her trust so he can make an escape attempt. It’s not perfect though, it does get a little baggy in the middle and, I thought, a little too long, but it’s still perfectly watchable. Over all… Recommended.
My Score: 7.7/10