A mysterious young woman, Katie (Nicky Whelan), and her daughter move to a new town to escape her past and quickly befriends Angela Morgan (Gina Gershon), a mother of one who longs for a bigger family. As their lives become intricately entwined, Angela and her husband, Brian, (Nicolas Cage), invite Katie to live in their guest-house to serve as their nanny. Over time, the blossoming friendship between the two women spirals into a dangerous obsession as Katie becomes overly attached to the Morgans' daughter. Enduring lies and manipulations, Angela and Brian realize that sweet Katie is actually trying to destroy their family from within.
A mostly dull uninteresting film with little in the way of surprises
Katie (Nicky Whelan) is a mother whom has recently escaped from an abusive relationship. Katie ends up befriending wealthy couple Angela (Gina Gershon) and Brian (Nicolas Cage) and stays in their guest house whilst serving as their nanny. Initially all is well, but the couple start to get suspicious of Katie when they start to learn that she's hiding a dark secret...
The set-up isn't a bad one and in some ways this film reminded me of 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle', but despite an intriguing set-up the film doesn't contain much in the way of audience involvement. There is some mystery with Katie's character, but the film reveals too much too soon which ultimately kills much of the suspense. The main story also lacks credibility and requires a leap of faith to be able to accept what you're seeing is even remotely believable; a couple allowing a stranger to be their nanny without carrying out any kind of background checks first???
The tempo picks up slightly towards the end, but by this point I'd already lost interest in the story (mainly down to the drawn-out first half of the picture where next to nothing actually happens). I also wasn't impressed by Jonathan Baker's direction which was far too leisurely and I also wasn't impressed by the art-house pretentious feel that the film had as a whole.
The acting isn't too bad though with Whelan and Gershon both being the standout's here. Nic Cage is the big named actor here, but the filmmakers waste him here by just having him hanging round in the background (he's never sufficiently developed and isn't given the chance to make any kind of impression on the picture). The cynic in me thinks that he may have only been cast in the film as a gimmick to make the film appeal to a wider audience.
FINAL VERDICT; skip this one and watch The Hand That Rocks The Cradle instead.
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