LOSING ISAIAH stars Jessica Lange and Halle Berry and tells the story of a black infant, adopted by a well-to-do white family, whose adoption is challenged by the newly drug-rehabilitated birth mother. The movie wants to be seen as hard-hitting, raising provocative questions about interracial adoption, but instead strings together a series of touchy-feely moments and emotional speeches to reach a lukewarm conclusion.
LOSING ISAIAH stars Jessica Lange and Halle Berry and tells the story of a black infant, adopted by a well-to-do white family, whose adoption is challenged by the newly drug-rehabilitated birth mother. The lawyers for both parties fight it out in court, where the script piles on the platitudes. Witnesses give long speeches and the race card is played heavily. Everyone comes out wounded and Isaiah’s birth mother ultimately regains custody. However, the two “mothers” ultimately agree to share in the child’s upbringing.
The movie’s characters for the most part come on screen, speak their lines and wait until their next scene. There is no real continuity and none of the characters (except the children) reveal any emotional growth. Religion is never mentioned, but much is made in the trial that Khaila has a “higher power.” She says, “because of him, I’m here today.” However, it is never said who “he” is. The movie counts on the audience being moved by Isaiah’s cute demeanor, the emotionally-rending questions raised in court and the two mothers’ teamwork at the last. The movie illustrates that these are the important points, with impassioned words and music, but forgets to fill in the rest of the movie with any relevance, making the high points utterly meaningless and ultimately manipulative.
(NA, B, LL, D) Relativism with a reference to a higher power and some biblical principles; 15 obscenities & 3 profanities; and, substance abuse & crack addiction.