Almost forty years ago, a young girl of fourteen has sex, gets pregnant, and gives her baby up for adoption. Fast-forwarding to the present day, we meet three very different women, each of whom struggles to maintain control of their lives. There's Elizabeth, a smart and successful lawyer who uses her body to her advantage. Any time she feels that she doesn't have the upper hand, and cannot control the situation, she uses her sex appeal - whether that be starting a romance with her boss when she suspects he is trying to start one himself, or finding some way to control her overly friendly neighbor and husband. Karen, meanwhile, is a bitter health care professional who obviously has a lot of heart but never shows it. She gave up a daughter at the age of fourteen (wonderfully shown rather than told, she is the young girl and mother of Elizabeth), and has never gotten over it - her bitterness inspiring her to lash out at everyone around her - even the gentle man at work who is undeniably ... Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
Rodrigo Garcia's 'Mother and Child' is one of the most moving poetic films I have seen of recent times. Garcia's previous films comprised of short vignettes and, on the surface, 'Mother and Child' appears that way. Though the connection between Elizabeth's story and Karen's story is apparent, the other subplots initially appear as though they have no link to Karen and Elizabeth.
While there have been numerous movies of intertwined lives and stories, only few films have managed to have strong links and 'Mother and Child' is one of them and in addition the link between the stories is very significant and it's beautifully done. Moreover the twists and turns are superb. Rodrigo Garcia truly has created a treasure here. His eloquent writing breathes poetry as the story of his characters' lives unfold. Every single character, even the minor ones, are excellently fleshed out.
The execution is just as wonderful. The art direction, cinematography, editing and lighting is first rate. The soundtrack is simply amazing.
Each and every one of the actors does nothing short of fantastic and they deliver some of their finest performances. Annette Bening and Naomi Watts are spellbinding as the mother and daughter, two lost souls leading fractured lives until they gradually find purpose. Kerry Washington is superb as the wannabe mother desperate to have a child while being unaware of the challenges of motherhood. Jimmy Smits is terrific. Garcia's regulars, Elizabeth Peña, Elpidia Carillo and Amy Brenneman are very effective in brief roles and Cherry Jones is brilliant.
'Mother and Child' offers the viewer what they don't know they were looking for in a film. While it is no surprise how many gems are overlooked by people because of lack of recognition, it's a shame that this precious little film falls under this category. I couldn't recommend it more and it's become among my favourites.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?