Kathy Bates won the Oscar for playing Annie Wilkes in Misery.
Misery overall could be a much better film - the combination of humor and horror is sometimes way too over-handed. But, had it not been for the performance of Kathy Bates, the film surely would have become very messy. The story of a writer who finds himself trapped in the house of his number one fan, a psychotic woman who lives for his writing of a fictional character, Misery. Only Stephan King could think of such a overwhelming female character.
What's even more extraordinary about the performance is how well she handles the quiet moments of despair Annie has. Like her talk with Paul at night, Bates knows exactly how to play the character without having any hidden agenda to surprise the audience with. She knows how to be malicious without being a faceless evil. She knows how to be sweet, without being totally innocent. What Kathy Bates does is create a fascinating, entertaining performance that doesn't play on the cliches that could have easily engulfed her. It's a terrific piece of work that needs no spirit to help it along.