"The Sins of the Mother"
MOTHER AND CHILD is a dramatic tale about the tragic consequences of unwed pregnancy, the generational effects of sinful decisions, the redemptive power of adoption, and the everlasting bond between mother and child.
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.
(PaPa, HH, Ro, Fe, B, C, LL, V, SSS, NNN, AA, M). Strong, mixed pagan, immoral worldview with strong elements of humanist nihilism, atheism, light Romanticism, and light feminism portrayed within a negative sexual context, some moral and positive Christian elements as Catholic nun is shown in positive light, adoption seen as a redemptive act and discussions about the existence of God; 18 obscenities, five profanities and one very graphic name-calling; very light violence includes teenager gives birth and another woman dies in birth; very strong sexual content includes depicted sex with married couple, fornication depicted, adultery implied, adulterous kissing, teenage kissing and teenage sex implied, woman seduces her boss, unmarried kissing and married kissing; full female nudity, upper female nudity, upper male nudity, rear female nudity, rear male nudity; alcohol use depicted in a couple of scenes; no smoking or drugs; and, light miscellaneous immorality includes lying and adulteress purposely plants her underwear in the wife’s drawer of the married man.
MOTHER AND CHILD is a dramatic tale about the tragic consequences of unwed pregnancy, the generational effects of sinful decisions, the redemptive power of adoption, and the everlasting bond between mother and child. The story follows Karen as a woman who struggles with the grief of having given up her daughter for adoption when Karen was only 14. The story also explores the dysfunctional life of Elizabeth, Karen’s illegitimate daughter, whose destructive sexual exploits lead her to her own unexpected pregnancy. The movie also looks at Lucy (Kerry Washington), who after several years of failed pregnancy attempts with her husband, has decided to adopt.
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.