Pros: An excellent story and some Academy Award winning acting!
Cons: Jack Nicholson didn't take the part.
Annie Wilkes: I am your number one fan. There is nothing to worry about. You are going to be just fine. I am your number one fan.
Directed by Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men)
James Caan as Paul Sheldon
Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes
The Storyline / plot
Author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) liked to write his books in the seclusion of a high mountain lodge in Colorado. He was bringing an end to his fans beloved Misery series. Sheldon was weary of the series and wanted to move on to something different. So he finished up his last book in the series by killing the main character, Misery. He placed the book in briefcase and started his drive from Colorado to New York. His intentions were to drop this book off with his publicist. There is nothing wrong with good intentions and a plan; sometimes they just dont quite work out like you intend them to.
The weather is bad and getting worse. Sheldon stuck to his guns and heads down the mountain road. He didnt make it too far when he lost control of his vehicle. Sheldon and his Mustang shoot off the road and the car is concealed in a snow bank. Luckily for Sheldon, his number one fan is stalking him and witnessed the accident. His number one fan is Annie Wilkens (Kathy Bates). Annie rescues Sheldon and takes him to her house as a large winter storm sets in. The fact of the matter is, Annie saved Paul Sheldons life. Annie is also a nurse, so caring for Sheldon is not much of a ordeal to her. While he was unconscious, Annie sets the severe breaks in his legs and also resets his dislocated shoulder. The breaks in his legs were both compound and very bad!
When Annie rescued Sheldon from the car wreck she also recovered Sheldons briefcase which has his new book. When Sheldon awakes she tells him that the phone lines are down and asked to read his new and only copy of the last book in the Misery series. Paul says, I only let my editor, publicist and people who save my life read my drafts... Annie gives Paul some pain pills and heads off to read the next book in her beloved Misery Series. This is when things start to go seriously wrong! After Annie finishes the novel and realized that Paul has ended the series by killing Misery, she goes psychotic!
Annie: YOU! YOU DIRTY BIRD, HOW COULD YOU!
Annie: She can't be dead, MISERY CHASTAIN CANNOT BE DEAD!
Paul: Annie, sometimes during childbirth, women don't survive. But Miseries spirit is still alive, we shouldn't forget that.
Annie: I DON'T WANT HER SPIRIT! I WANT HER, AND YOU MURDERED HER!
Paul: No I didn't.
Annie: WHO DID?!
Paul: She just died, slipped away!
Annie: SLIPPED AWAY?! NO, YOU MURDERED MY MISERY!
Paul Sheldon very quickly figures out that he is in deep trouble. He is dealing with an obsessed fan that has multiple personality disorders, not to mention that she is a psychopathic killer! What Paul Sheldon goes through would make most Prisoner Of War camps, look like a walk in the park!
Misery is one of the few instances where the film director is able to bring the book alive and make it happen. This psychodrama is one of a kind and full of suspense! Man Stephen King has a twisted imagination and a mind for putting these twisted thoughts on paper. I would hate to experience one of this guys nightmares! Misery was not as much scary, as it was twisted and suspenseful. The acting by Kathy Bates was as good as it gets! Kathy Bates can portray a flipped out psychopath like no bodys business. Her performance in Misery is comparable, quality wise, to Nichlolsons performance in The Shining. Speaking of Jack Nicholson, he was offered the role of Paul Sheldon in this film and he turned it down. If Nicholson would have played this part, with Kathy Bates it would have been flat out awesome! Not to downplay Caans outstanding performance but Jack and Kathy would have been the bomb! Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role as Annie in Misery. Furthermore, she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama. Her part and performance over shadows the excellent acting by James Caan. James Caan played his part in the film very well. The acting and cast in Misery would be hard to beat.
The plot and script were excellent and some of Stephen Kings best work. His story is pretty well thought out. I didnt notice any glaring mistakes in any aspect of the film. The cinematography was shot very well and is convincing. There was no call for many special effects in this film with one exception. There is a part in the film which is a spoiler but the scene (special effect) will make you wince with pain when you see it! It was quite brutal and very realistic looking. The scenery in this film is pretty. It was shot in the Sierras during winter. The directing in this film was outstanding. Rob Reiner is not known for working in the horror movie genre, but he definitely has the ability to pursue directing films in this genre if he so desires. I really got a thrill out of watching Misery. I would recommend Misery to anyone who enjoys a thriller or scary movie. I give Misery five of five stars!
Quote From Misery
Annie: Now the time has come. I put two bullets in my gun. One for me, and one for you. Oh darling, it will be so beautiful.
DVD Bonus Features
• Theatrical Trailer
• Wide or Standard Screen
More SK Movies
• Needful Things
• Top Ten Scary Movies
RUNTIME: 1 hour 47 minutes
Rated : [R] for violence
Thanks for the read,
© 2005 Joe McMaster