A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Stephen King has a modest but undeniable genius for being able to find horror in everyday situations. My notion is that he starts with a germ of truth from his own life, and then takes it as far as he can into the macabre and the bizarre. Take "Misery," for example, the story of a writer who finds himself the captive of his self-proclaimed "No. 1 fan." The hero has not finished a novel to her liking, and now she has him in her grip and he is writing under a particularly painful and violent deadline.
I can only imagine what some of the more peculiar fan letters of a writer like King must read like, and perhaps one of them even suggested this story. "Misery" involves a writer named Paul Sheldon (James Caan) who has been prostituting his talent for years with a series of romantic historical potboilers about a character named Misery, who after great triumphs and travails has finally been killed off. Having assassinated the character he had come to hate, Sheldon holes up in a Colorado lodge to write a "real" novel, and when he finishes it he packs it into his car and heads down a mountain road in a blizzard, loses control of his car, and ends up injured and in a snowbank.
He might easily have died, but he's rescued by a brusque, resourceful woman named Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who digs him out, takes him home, nurses him back to health, and then is outraged to learn he has killed off Misery. That simply will not do, and so she holds her invalid prisoner while he writes a sequel bringing Misery back to life.
The world thinks Sheldon is dead. We follow the search for his body, which involves his literary agent (Lauren Bacall), the local backwoods sheriff (Richard Farnsworth), and the sheriff's wife (Frances Sternhagen). They are essentially the only other actors in the movie, which develops mostly as a two-hander between Caan and Bates.