Wednesday, May 05, 2010

MOTHER AND CHILD - Mother's Day Treat

Cast: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, David Morse, Amy Brenneman, Tatyana Ali, Carla Gallo, Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Rodrigo García
Screenplay: Rodrigo García
Time: 123 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

Jackson and Watts in MOTHER AND CHILD

PREAMBLE: This film seems to be the only fitting Mother's Day treat for those planning to celebrate with their moms at the cineplex. Male action fans may find it a bit slow and dragging but moms and daughters are likely enjoy the drama, especially the ensemble effort by Annette Bening and Naomi Watts.

THE SKINNY: Mother And Child is about three women involved in or affected by child adoption. Karen (Bening) is a grumpy spinster who lives in L.A. with her ailing mother (Eileen Ryan). Her mood and attitude towards life is affected by her obsession about the baby she gave up for adoption 37 years ago.

Elizabeth (Watts) is a successful lawyer who also lives in L.A. Her taste in men is questionable, not unlike Karen's. While Elizabeth beds her neighbour and her boss (Samuel L. Jackson), Karen finds solace in an old flame (David Morse) and is pursued by a co-worker (Jimmy Smits). However, Elizabeth, who was given for adoption as a newborn, ponders about her natural mother but is reluctant to look for her.

The third woman is Lucy (Kerry Washington) who desperately wants to adopt a baby and start a family with her hubby Joseph (David Ramsey).

HITS & MISSES: Mother And Child, written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, is structured like the award-winning Crash and Babel (which was directed by its executive producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). Like the two films, this one works slowly up to a crescendo where the three 'subplots' come together, seemingly in a collision course.

However, the primary attraction of this effort is the ensemble cast, most of whom play against type and providing a sense of everyday realism. Bening, whose lines are loaded with bad attitude, is the most impressive.

THE LOWDOWN: A great bonding flick for mothers and daughters.


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