Dolores Claiborne (1995)
132 min | Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Instead of heading to Arizona for her next big story in what has been her illustrious career in her relatively young life, New York based investigative journalist Selena St. George heads to her hometown on a small island just off the coast of Jonesport, Maine upon receiving a fax from an anonymous sender that her mother, Dolores Claiborne, is the only suspect in what looks to be the murder of her wealthy employer of twenty-three years, Vera Donovan. Dolores, who reassumed her maiden name following the death of Selena's father, Joe St. George, started working as one of Vera's domestics upon her moving permanently into what used to be the Donovans' summer house after Jack Donovan's passing, Dolores ultimately moving into the Donovan house full time as her caregiver when Vera required 'round the clock care. Dolores' employment, which was solely to save money for Selena's education, was despite miserly and overly particular Vera only paying a pittance. Selena has been estranged from Dolores for fifteen years, when Selena went away to college at Vassar on a full scholarship, on Selena's belief not only that her mother killed her father when she was thirteen - the death ultimately ruled accidental - but the trauma she endured at the hands of townsfolk who believed the same in their often anonymous taunts. Selena still suffers emotionally from the trauma, she resorting to various means of self-medication. Detective John Mackey, who led the investigation, believed the same, this case the only blemish in his otherwise perfect career. He, leading the investigation into Vera's death, has seemingly had it in for Dolores for eighteen years, and already has it in his mind that if she could kill Joe, she could just as easily have killed Vera, with a strong underlying motive beyond the seemingly open dislike the two had for each other in their mutual name calling. As Dolores and Selena are forced to move back into what has largely been the closed-up St. George house for however long Selena will be staying on the island, old memories come back to haunt both of them, with the truth behind what happened eighteen years ago and thus what happened with Vera buried deep within those memories in the house.