Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Mini-Series/Made for TV Film Dominique Swain
Lolita is a 1997 drama film directed by Adrian Lyne and is the second screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. The film stars Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert and Dominique Swain as Dolores "Lolita" Haze, with supporting roles by Melanie Griffith as Charlotte Haze, and Frank Langella as Clare Quilty. It concerns the story of an English professor''s obsession with his landlady''s flirtatious daughter, and his desiring attempts to possess her. Lolita was originally filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, when much of the novel’s content was toned down significantly due to censorship restrictions. In a less conservative era, British director Lyne began filming his own adaptation.
With the central theme of Humbert''s pedophilia, the film had considerable difficulty finding an American distributor and premiered in Europe before being released in America, where it was met with much controversy. The film was picked up by Showtime in the United States and aired on a Cable network, before finally being released theatrically by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. The film received a mixed critical reception in the United States, though the performances by Irons and Swain impressed audiences, while critics praised the movie''s faithfulness to Nabokov''s narrative by comparison with Kubrick''s version. Following its theatrical release, the film was distributed on VHS and DVD by Pathé, both of which are now out-of-print.
In 1947 Humbert Humbert, a European professor of French literature, travels to New Hampshire, in the United States, to take a teaching position. He rents a room in the home of widow Charlotte Haze, largely because he sees her adolescent daughter, Dolores (aged 12 in Nabokov''s novel but seemingly slightly older in the film and variously called "Dolly" or "Lo"), while touring the house. Obsessed from boyhood with young girls of this age, whom he calls nymphets, partly because of an early sexual experience and tragic loss, Humbert marries Charlotte for the sake of access to her daughter.
Charlotte''s untimely death, shortly after she discovers his preference for her daughter, frees Humbert to pursue a sexual and emotional relationship with Dolores, whom he nicknames ''Lolita''. The two travel the country for a few years, staying in various motels but eventually settling in a college town where Humbert takes a teaching job. However, Lolita''s increasing boredom with Humbert, as well as her growing desire for independence, fuels a constant tension between them. Humbert''s desperate affections for Lo are also rivaled by a more devious and experienced nymphet lover, the playwright Clare Quilty, who has been pursuing Lo from the beginning. Quilty''s name and identity are at first unknown to Humbert, and when Lolita runs away to him, Humbert''s search for her is unsuccessful.
Three years later, after a receiving a letter asking for financial help, Humbert visits the now 17-year-old Lolita, married to another man and pregnant. His love for her remains, in spite of her circumstances, but she refuses to return to him. He relents and gives her a substantial amount of money and information about her inheritance from her mother. He also discovers the name of his nemesis, Quilty, whom he hunts down and murders.
After being arrested, Humbert dies in prison in November of 1950. Lolita dies a month later on Christmas day, after childbirth.