Losing Chase (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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Another Helen Mirren triumph
wisewebwoman8 April 2006
It's a shame the script and theme didn't quite do her justice. Kyra Sedgewick also gives her all and Kevin Bacon's directorial debut is great - he captures the atmosphere amazingly well and I was surprised to find on the credits that Lake Ontario and its shore stood in for Martha's Vineyard and the Atlantic.

I thought it a shame that a sexual component was introduced to the slow awakening of Chase (Helen) from her "nervous breakdown" - a condition brought on by her disillusion at living a life of pretense with her husband, a man who loves her and is ashamed and baffled by her slide into depression.

This awakening is brought on by Elizabeth (Kyra), the mother's helper employed for the summer. A deep friendship develops between Chase and Elizabeth. Some of the scenes are overblown - the sports car, the borrowed yacht, but some are also magical, the kites, the garden.

Very very slender movie and quite touching at the end.

6 out of 10.
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Very well acted and directed
runamokprods16 August 2011
While the first half feels predictable and very TV movie, the performances are good enough (especially Helen Mirren) to keep it going.

And in the second half, this tale of a collage student mother's helper hired to help a woman in an angry depression after suffering a nervous breakdown gets more complex and unpredictable.

The relationship between the two women, and they way their damaged souls play off each other is quite moving and grown up.

Strong subtle direction by Kevin Bacon.

Does take a hit for over the top performances from the kids, and other key small roles, all playing types, not human beings.
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Good acting in a predictable drama
Ewi9 November 2001
Chase Phillips (Helen Mirren) is having a nervous breakdown and her businessman-away-from-home husband hires Elizabeth (Kyra Sedgwick) to take care of the household and their 2 sons. But Elizabeth has her own demons to face, her family has a history of mantal illness, which arises with Chase's self destructive behaviour.

The movie is about the relationship between these 2 women and is mostly predictable and even banal, but the acting is very good. Helen Mirren is superb as usual, and Kyra Sedgwick is doing quite a good job herself. Not bad for Kevin Bacon's debut film as a director.
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what to say
jeeper_white11 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Losing Chase Helen Mirren, Kyra Sedgwick, Beau Bridges

(maybe some spoilers)

Chase is a wife and mother of two who is recovering from a nervous breakdown. To help her round the house, her husband Richard, hires Elizabeth, a 'mother's helper'. Or 'slave' as Chase liked to call her.

At first Chase isn't at all happy about Elizabeth staying with them and tries to discourage her by giving her the cold shoulder. But Elizabeth also has her fair share of family problems, and eventually Chase warms to Liz and they become friends, typical. They couldn't be enemies the whole time could they. Anyway, a whole lot of nothing important happens and Chase and Liz exchange alot of shifty looks which at first are deceiving and eventually becomes a budding liaison. Or probably would have if the husband hadn't have come back when he did.

Helen Mirren and Kyra Sedgwick both do a great acting job. As did Michael Yarmush, who played the older son. His character was annoying at times but it was distinct. And Yarmush did a good job with it. The ending was poor if you ask me, but to say it was made 8 years ago it was understandable.
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Finding the balance of madness
OJT3 April 2014
A surprisingly well directed and acted drama about dealing with losing the grip of reality, and how this affects not only the family, but also the community.

Kyra Sedgwick is hired as a housemaid by a family of four, with two young boys, where the mother has had a nervous breakdown. The arrival of the newcomer slowly changes the situation as the two women with similar background find each other in both similarities and in friendship.

Not only Kyra Sedgwick does great here, but Beau Brisges and as always Helen Mirren does a great job under the direction of Kevin Bacon. The drama is excitingly made, with enough of drama and situations to make the film interesting all way through.
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Good portrayal of depression
sfdphd22 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Helen Mirren does a good job of portraying a wife and mother who has depression. Beau Bridges is also good as the clueless husband who means well but just doesn't get what his wife needs and wants. Kyra Sedgewick has the hardest job of acting and she shows her range of ability in so many different emotions throughout the film. It certainly was believable that she is taken by surprise when Helen Mirren falls in love with her. It was clear to me that she thought of the Helen Mirren character as a mother figure. I was glad that she wasn't freaked out and was able to share a warm goodbye when they parted.

My main criticism was the ending and the title. Losing Chase implies death and I kept expecting that through the film. I don't know if that was intentional or not but I felt confused at the end when that didn't happen. Also, the voiceover at the end was Helen Mirren but it would have made more sense to have Kyra Sedgewick do the final summation about how she lost Chase. Helen Mirren doing the final narration made me feel the title should have been Losing Elizabeth.
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