Eliza Kendall Welch (Uma Thurman), mother of, Clara, and Lucas, lives with her spouse, Avery McKendrik (Anthony Edwards), in an Manhattan apartment. Today is May 25th, Clara's 6th birthday, and she has to make arrangements for a party, as well as attend to day-to-day chores, including Blogging, and entering an online contest 'Motherhood', and looking after her invalid elderly neighbor and a dog. Things will slowly get out of hand after her car gets towed due to a film shooting; the tire on her bike gets punctured; she alienates herself from her friend, Sheila (Minnie Driver); Clara's name is misspelled on the cake; while Avery refuses to answer his cell-phone. After being assisted by a delivery man, Nikesh (Arjun Gupta), who finds her attractive, she concludes she has had enough, and decides not to return home. Written by
Grossed $100,000 in the USA in 2009 and, in its UK opening weekend, took a total of £88 - equating to about 11 tickets sold, allegedly making this the lowest grossing film ever released in the UK. See more »
[reading from her 500-word motherhood-themed article for submission to a magazine prize contest]
Motherhood is about accepting the limitations of time and energy which stretch beyond you, even though sometimes it feels they can consume you. Search for and hold on to your own true self. If you lose that, what kind of mother can you be? Things are always changing no matter how much we might want things to stay the same. You could take a picture of your kids every single day and every single day ...
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slight but sometimes perceptive look at harried motherhood
Eliza Welsh is what one of the characters in "Motherhood" refers to derisively as an "urban mom." That is to say a young woman who lives in an upscale part of town (in this case, Greenwich Village), has a hoard of New Age-y mom friends who obsess over the ins-and-outs of successful childrearing, and herself hosts a blog dedicated to - what else? - how to survive the rigors of young motherhood without sacrificing one's identity as a woman, as a wife and as an individual. It's a battle that Eliza seems to be losing at the moment, but at least she's giving it the old college try.
Written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, this seriocomic tale takes place on the day before Eliza's oldest child is to turn six. Filled with mixed emotions at the event and saddled with a husband (Anthony Edwards) who seems more focused on his own needs than those of his wife, Eliza struggles with arranging a birthday party, dodging parking tickets, coping with a studio-shoot on her street, looking out for her elderly neighbor, and raising a toddler - all while trying to carve out a little time for herself to write and to do all the things adults (those without children, at least) normally do in the course of their days.
Dieckmann's screenplay is filled with both poignancy and humor as it deftly explores the life of this harried mother. Uma Thurman, in a tour-de-force performance, captures both the manic energy and utter exhaustion of the nonstop merry-go-round that her character finds herself riding on; and she is fully supported by Edwards as her husband, Minnie Driver as her closest girlfriend, and Arjun Fupta ("Nurse Jackie") as a sexy delivery boy who, for a brief moment at least, allows Eliza to let her hair down a bit and to see the heart of the vibrant, sexy, carefree woman that still beats beneath all the motherly obsessions and concerns.
Although it's ultimately a bit too slight in the drama department for it to rise much above the level of a bemusing curiosity, "Motherhood" still has some valid insights to make about its subject.
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