Dolores Claiborne was accused of killing her abusive husband twenty years ago, but the court's findings were inconclusive and she was allowed to walk free. Now she has been accused of killing her employer, Vera Donovan, and this time there is a witness who can place her at the scene of the crime. Things look bad for Dolores when her daughter Selena, a successful Manhattan magazine writer, returns to cover the story.
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A Bitch of a Movie, In a Good Way
Top-notch cast, ominous directorial tone and an atypically understated, rending Elfman score milk the most from this small-town whodunnit. While the plot makes use of some familiar foils (alcoholism, misogyny, provincialism), sharp writing and makeup effectively blend the dark present with an umbral past as the curtain draws back on the steely relationship between the titular Dolores, a crusty housemaid pariah (Bates), and her Big City journalist daughter, Selena (Leigh). Though this colaboration preys playfully on the wince-factor of seeing Cathy Bates wielding a hammer in another Stephen King creation, the integration of a sympathetic backstory compels us to root for her every barb and zinger.