MOTHER AND CHILD
The Sins of the Mother
Release Date: May 07, 2010
Runtime: 124 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Executive Producer: Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro
Producer: Lisa Maria Falcone and Julie Lynn
Writer: Rodrigo Garcia
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
When Karen (Annette Bening) was only 14, she gave up Elizabeth (Naomi Watts), her illegitimate daughter, for adoption. Since then, Karen has had no contact with Elizabeth, even though she keeps a daily journal for her unknown daughter. Now at 37 years of age, Elizabeth is a successful lawyer, whose cold, calculating life is only a façade of independence, masking the pain of never having known her birth mother. Meanwhile, Lucy (Kerry Washington) and her husband are exploring the possibilities of adoption after several years of failed pregnancy attempts.
As Karen works to restore the broken places of her heart and rebuild the lost years of her life, Elizabeth’s world crumbles apart after an imprudent affair with her boss and an adulterous affair with her next-door neighbor leave her with an unexpected pregnancy. At the same time, Lucy’s heart is crushed when her husband walks out on her, declaring that he wants his own children instead of adopting someone else’s child. The drama unfolds for Karen, Elizabeth and Lucy as their present decisions, their past mistakes and their unknown futures intertwine in unexpected ways.
Masterfully told, MOTHER AND CHILD is a near-flawless tragedy, and one of the most wrenching dramas in years. From a well-constructed script to incredible performances by the cast, especially Annette Bening and Naomi Watts, the movie is all-at-once engaging, heart-breaking and somewhat redemptive. The movie, whether intentionally or not, reveals the calamitous, life consequences of sinful decisions and the profound generational effects that teen pregnancy can have on both parent and child alike.
Sadly, the movie’s flaws come from its content. There are some worldview problems, such as an atheist woman who plays a large part in the redemptive aspects of the story as well as a female seduction masked as feminist empowerment. It is the movie’s excessive nudity and depicted sex scenes, including an adulterous affair, where the movie really fails its viewers. There is also some objectionable foul language, including 18 obscenities, five profanities and one very graphic name-calling.
Teenage sexuality and unwed pregnancy is a remorseful fact of life, the subject matter should be handled sensitively, not salaciously as the filmmakers have done here. All in all, MOTHER AND CHILD is a near-perfect tragedy, but the deplorable content mires the movie in the same remorseful behavior that has destroyed the lives of the story’s characters, and MOVIEGUIDE® recommends that viewers support more worthwhile family-friendly media.
Masterfully told, MOTHER AND CHILD is a near-flawless tragedy, and one of the most wrenching dramas in years. From a well-constructed script to incredible performances by the cast, especially Annette Bening and Naomi Watts, the movie is engaging, heart-breaking and somewhat redemptive. Sadly, though, the movie’s flaws come from its lewd, graphic content, including excessive nudity. There is also some strong foul language and some worldview problems. The subject matter should have been handled sensitively, not salaciously. MOVIEGUIDE® recommends that moviegoers support more worthwhile, family-friendly motion pictures.