The Unbreakable Bond Between Mother And Child.
"...Powerful melodrama marked by compassion... Geoff Berkshire, Chicago Tribune
|From writer-director Rodrigo Garcia (TV'S "Big Love", "Nine Lives") and executive producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel") comes the moving story of three women and the power of the unbreakable bond between mother and child. Three women's lives share a common core: the have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) placed a baby for adoption at age 14 and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) and her husband are just embarking on the adoption odyssey, hoping for the opportunity to become parents.|
"...Satisfying example of this storytelling style... Michael Phillips, Los Angeles Times
"...an emotional powerhouse... Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Writer/director Rodrigo García (NINE LIVES) teams with executive producer Alejandro González Iñárritu to craft this drama highlighting the powerful bond between a mother and her son. It's been years since Karen (Annette Bening) gave her daughter, Elizabeth, up for adoption, and the decision to abandon her child has always haunted her. Upon meeting laid-back Paco (Jimmy Smits), Karen permits her anxiety and mistrust to get the best of her. On the surface it appears that Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) is none the worse for never knowing her biological mother; she's a fast-talking lawyer who's just landed a high-profile job at a firm fronted by Paul (Samuel L. Jackson), though her unsavory penchant for exploiting others is about to blow up in her face. Meanwhile, maternal-minded baker Lucy (Kerry Washington) longs to experience the joys of motherhood, eventually deciding that adoption is the best bet to start a family with her husband, Joseph (David Ramsey).
Cast & Crew
Independent Spirit (2011)
||Naomi Watts, Nominee, Best Supporting Female
||Samuel L. Jackson, Nominee, Best Supporting Male
3 stars out of 4 -- ?Dynamite performances from Annette Bening and Naomi Watts ignite this strong drama from writer-director Rodrigo Garcia.?
New York Times
"[D]ense and thoughtful....A more precise title might have been MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, since continuities and complexities in the lives and relationships of women are what most interest Mr. Garcia."
Los Angeles Times
"Garcia's calm, steady guidance behind the camera, along with his nicely finessed faith in a very good cast, makes MOTHER AND CHILD a fuller and more satisfying example of this storytelling style..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[S]uperb performances add to the story's power....The story is best when focused on the threads linking the intricate tapestry of mothers and daughters."
"Each in their own way, they're women on the run in a film whose focus -- slowly and movingly -- shifts to capturing the cost of running too far too long." -- Grade: B
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The film is founded on three performances by Annette Bening, Kerry Washington and Naomi Watts. All have rarely been better."
"With MOTHER AND CHILD, Rodrigo Garcia poses a number of intriguing questions about the nature of maternity....While all of these women are types, the actresses dignify them with the emotional force of their performances."
3 stars out of 5 -- "The four main actors are all on fine form, with Bening particularly strong as the permanently crabby singleton and Watts thoroughly convincing as a sexually promiscuous vixen."
0 of 10
Mother and Child is a potent, poignant and beautifully calibrated film about the always timely issue of adoption and its effect on three strangers in Los Angeles, whose lives connect in haunting and unpredictable ways. The adoption theme would seem like no big deal if the three women were happy and securely established in their homes and careers. But all three are tortured victims of frustration, their lives spun out with rising and falling dramatic impact, variations on a single theme. The result is heartfelt and mesmerizing...this is one film about adoption you can cherish in different musical keys. Some cynics will label it schematic, others might dismiss it as a "woman's picture." Ignore them all. Mother and Child is a flawless film of heartrending realism about the eternal chord that binds parents and children and the emptiness when they are separated. Everything about it adds up to a consummate revelation that left me enriched and feeling hopeful about the artistry of motion pictures.
- Rex Reed