Claire Dolan

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Claire Dolan
Directed by Lodge Kerrigan
Produced by Ann Ruark
Written by Lodge Kerrigan
Starring Katrin Cartlidge
Vincent Philip D'Onofrio
Colm Meaney
Cinematography Teodoro Maniaci
Edited by Kristina Boden
Release dates
  • May 1998 (1998-05)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English, French

Claire Dolan is a 1998 American-French drama film directed by Lodge Kerrigan. It was entered into the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


Claire Dolan is an Irish immigrant working as a high-priced call girl in New York City; she doesn't enjoy the profession at all, but owes her pimp money and must continue to work. After her mother dies in a nursing home, she decides to run away from her life. She goes to neighboring Newark, New Jersey, where she has a cousin. She takes a job in a salon and forms a relationship with her cousin and her cousin's daughter, Siobhan.

Before long, she begins to receive suspicious phone calls; at work, she is called to the phone and when she answers there is no one on the line. At home in the middle of the night she receives another call. After hanging up, the phone rings again. She feels unsafe, that perhaps Roland has found her, and so she leaves her apartment and walks to a nearby bar. As soon as she walks in, she sits down at a man's table, asking if he is waiting for someone. When he says no, she asks him to dance with her. Claire and Elton dance for a few hours and we next see her waking up in his bed the next morning. It is apparent that she picked up someone to take her home with them, for a safe place to spend the night. When she arrives home, she feels something is out of place. In a wardrobe mirror she sees Roland standing in her apartment, waiting for her. He brings her a duffel bag and orders her to put her clothes into it; they are going back to the city. As he waits, Claire's cat hops up into his lap; Roland picks it up, walks over to the window, and throws it out. Claire returns to see Elton to spend some time with him; he asks her what's the matter with her and, not being able to tell him, becomes upset, asking him to pull over. She gets out and immediately hails another cab to take her to her New York apartment. Elton follows her in his cab and finds out where she lives; he waits all night and then follows her again the next day. He watches her speak to someone (Roland), then follows her to a hotel where she stays for quite some time, then gives up waiting.

At Dolan's apartment, there is a knock on her door. Elton confronts her about who she really is, where she lives, and asks if she has a pimp and if she owes him any money. Over the next few days/weeks, they go to work and meet afterward. One afternoon, when they meet for coffee in a diner, Elton gives her an envelope with money, telling her there are no strings attached and he wants to help her pay off her debt. She accepts. Later, she confesses to Elton that she wants to have a baby; after thinking for a few moments, Elton agrees to impregnate her. The two continue a relationship for a little while. It is obvious that Elton has feelings for her, and the two exchange I-love-you's. Elton goes to see Roland, who has been expecting him. Roland grabs the other man by the throat and tells him Claire always was and always will be a whore and that he should get out while he can.

Claire announces she is pregnant and has scheduled a doctor's appointment. Elton tells her he has to take care of something out of town for a few days, but he will be back in time for her appointment. We see him dropping off a young girl, about 12–14 years old, in front of a building. He asks how she is getting along with her mother, gives her some cash and tells her to buy something with it but not to tell her mother. It is implied she may be his own daughter. He also speaks with an Eastern European prostitute in a hotel room, but seems uninterested in having sex with her, and asks her some questions. He returns to the city. Claire has gone to the doctor and checks out okay. She continues to see a few clients, but during one visit, she thinks she sees Elton's reflection on the balcony outside and goes to the window, cracking it to look out. Her client comes into the room and has her leave it open for the air, and they carry on, with Elton on the balcony.

Now having enough money to pay off her debt, she goes to pay off Roland. He asks her if she is going to keep her baby, then congratulates her, offering her a packet of money "for the baby" but she refuses. He insists, but she continues to refuse his money as it would be something Roland could hold over her in the future. She goes home, packs a suitcase with an air of finality, and goes to the airport. She sees a few clients in a hotel room and then goes to a ticket counter to purchase a ticket to Seattle. The ticket agent explains the flights and routes she could take to get there, and Claire asks for a one-way ticket to Chicago. We next see her eating at an outdoor cafe, and a man at another table is staring at her. He comes over and asks her if she is Lucy (Lucy being her alias for work) and she says no. He insists it's her, saying he remembers "who he's f#cked." She stands up, showing him her very pregnant body and he, embarrassed, apologizes and returns to his table. During an ultrasound, it is revealed that she is carrying a boy. At first her expression looks unsure, but then she smiles.

Elton is walking down the street with a blond woman when Roland passes by and stops him to say hello. Elton introduces the woman (who is not Claire) as his wife, and she and Roland talk for a moment. She is seven months pregnant with a girl. When asked how they know each other, Roland tells her that they knew each other "from a long time ago, another life". The two shake hands, and Elton and his wife walk away, holding hands.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Claire Dolan". Retrieved 2009-09-28. 

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