Not uninteresting attempt at undermining the Hobbesian 'authority of the author' thesis (an immobile Caan serves superbly this goal) and the obsessions that emanate from a fetishistic elevation of celebrities to fans' pent up transference of low self-esteem and recognition. The nauseating co-dependence of fan to author works well in the claustrophobic transformation of worship to rage with fine suspenseful turns.
While the book contains a much richer metaphor for overcoming addiction - as well as a more personal statement on creative freedom & the authenticity of the artist as creator - Reiner & Goldman's adaptation does well to concentrate on the surface thriller elements, with only some of the self-reflexive subtext. The result is one of the best King adaptations; a brilliantly performed, perversely funny &suspenseful work.
I've seen this film a couple of times, and I have to say that Annie Wilkes is one of the best villains ever. Kathy Bates did an amazing job incarnating the ultimate psychotic fan. It's freaking amazing to see things escalating gradually, as she begins to show her true colours. The crucifix, the penguin, the pills and all these small objects keep grabbing your attention during this claustrophobic and exciting ride.
Annie Wilkes is one of the most ridiculous characters in cinema history; I haven't the faintest idea how being a pop-eyed cartoon for 100 minutes is an Oscar-worthy achievement. That said, the last half hour was ugly and mean in a way that I found compelling enough to somewhat make up for the rest of the film.
Can't speak on the quality of the adaptation. The film is a fun watch, a very old-fashioned suspense thriller written expertly by Goldman and featuring a fascinating performance by Kathy Bates. It doesn't always work for me, but when it's working on all gears, it really soars. Misery is also part of one of the greatest runs by any director in the history of film ('84-'92). 3.5*
This is a classic that became influential. Great tone, slightly caricature-esque, and vastly disturbing. It defined stalking before social media. Now, things are creepier, but so subtle that we are rarely aware.
An allegory of celebrity worship and the artist's authority of their creation, but also fettered creativity and censorship (the book burning, Bates hatred of curse words in it and censored curses.) Misery could even be read as about parental dysfunction. But, Caan's character is too consistently rationale, thus he isn't developing and there's no arc. He's the same when the film ends than when it begins.