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Losing Isaiah (1995)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 March 1995 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,088 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 14 critic

The natural and adoptive mothers of a young boy are involved in a bitter, controversial custody battle.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Losing Isaiah (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Charles Lewin
...
Eddie Hughes
...
Hannah Lewin
...
Isaiah
...
Kadar Lewis
...
Marie
...
Gussie
...
Caroline Jones (as LaTanya Richardson)
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Judge Silbowitz
Donovon Ian H. McKnight ...
Amir
Rikkia A. Smith ...
Josie
Paulette McDaniels ...
Ethel
Velma Austin ...
Rehab Leader
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Storyline

An African-American baby, abandoned by his crack addicted mother is adopted by a white social worker and her husband. Several years later, the baby's mother finds out her son is not dead, as she thought before and goes to court to get him back. Written by Cyndi Kessler <ckessler@hooked.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who decides what makes a mother?

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug related material and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les chemins de l'amour  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,603,766 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Lange said in an interview "I let myself get talked into 'Losing Isaiah' because I hadn't worked for awhile. I knew it wasn't right, the script wasn't right, there was no ending. It just didn't feel right, and it never got right. It was a really difficult and painful experience." See more »

Quotes

Khaila Richards: What is it you don't want him to know, huh? That his mother is as black as he is?
Margaret Lewin: [sneering] "Black!" All you people think about is color!
Khaila Richards: You people? You *people*? Well, you better look around, cause me and Isaiah, we the same kind of people. Or didn't you notice?
See more »

Soundtracks

Baby-Baby-Baby
by L.A. Reid, Babyface & Daryl Simmons
Performed by TLC
Courtesy of LaFace Records
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User Reviews

 
Better Than I Was Expecting!
3 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just from reading the plot of Losing Isaiah, I felt the film is better suited to a Lifetime movie. But after seeing the film, I may have to change my mind because on the whole, it is a very powerful and impacting film about child custody and the best interests of the child. The film would have been so much better, expect the film didn't have an ending at all. I did not like the ending and that took down my rating a notch or two. But film will strongly affect everyone, especially those who tend to be politically correct.

Stephen Gyllenhaal's film is about a custody battle over an abandoned kid between two women. One woman is a former black crack addict who is now sober and leading a better life, but not after abandoning her kid in a drug haze. The other woman is a white social services worker who has a well-off family and a nice place to live. Now the crack addict named Khaila decides to sue to get her child back.

This film is strongly acted. Jessica Lange gives a hell of a performance as Margaret Lewin, who shows unconditional love to the boy. Halle Berry also delivers a potent performance as Khaila, the grieving mother who also truly cares for her son. Samuel L. Jackson makes a good appearance as Khaila's lawyer and David Strathairn was decent as Margaret's wife.

Overall, Losing Isaiah is a great movie but it could have been more if it wasn't for that horrid ending that left me with even more questions. But there is no denying the emotion the film provokes and the sympathy that is created for each woman. Each of them has their faults, but both of them truly care for the kid which makes this custody case even more heart-wrenching. I wasn't even able to choose a side. But this is a great film and I'm surprised I haven't heard of it until now. With a better ending, the film would have been perfect. I rate this film 8/10.


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