Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Misery is more Stephen King greatness-that is, greatness based off his novels. Call it a guilty pleasure, or just an accordance with the public's consensus, but I love movies based off of King's work. Misery features two incredible performances. There's James Caan as acclaimed mystery writer Paul Sheldon (no surprise there), and Kathy Bates as a nurse who brings him back to health after a terrible car accident. She's plump and cheery, but when she reveals that she's Sheldon's number one fan, and that she clearly does not want him to leave her home, we know something isn't quite right. But that's not the worst of it. The movie gets incredibly weird as the nurse's true character begins to unfold. Though I suppose she doesn't have a true character because her attitude can change any time from sweet and sugary to pure nastiness. It's a challenging role and Bates picked up an Oscar for how well she pulled it off. Caan's job is easier, but he still brings his trademark droll as he tries to outsmart his terrifying adversary. The writer-director team here are the same duo from The Princess Bride, William Goldman and Rob Reiner. This represents a startling change from that film, but in a way they bring the same ironic wit, save the satire. But the ultimate hero behind the film is King himself. The reasons all these movie adaptations work so well is because he is a master storyteller whose narratives are ideal for cinema.