Just in time for Mother’s Day, Mother and Child peels back the layers of three very different women all linked together through adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) gave away her daughter when she was fourteen and she has never fully been able to recover from the experience. She writes her letters and thinks about her all the time. While she is an adult of 50 she still cannot allow anyone to get close to her and comes across as difficult.
Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) is a kick ass rootless attorney who was adopted and has constructed a wall around her never letting anyone in. When confronted with an unintended pregnancy she is forced to examine herself in ways she never expected to. Lucy (Kerry Washington) runs a bakery and is desperate for a child. She and her husband tried to get pregnant and now they are in the process of adopting a child. But Lucy’s husband wants a child of his own and Lucy dumps him to adopt on her own.
These are all hard stories, don’t think this is a “lite” feel good film. But it is worth the work. What I’m trying to say is that there is no bullshit here, just real life, and real life ain’t always pretty.
Many male directors write and direct movies about women. Happens every week. But writer/director Rodrigo Garcia clearly is in a league of his own, able to dig deeper into these women’s souls and construct a film with three very different and very flawed women that works beautifully. And to top it off it’s about a topic that you don’t see regularly addressed in movies. All the women are controlling and prickly (some more than others) and over the two hours each needs to figure out a way to let go in order to move forward.
Here’s to the first Oscar worthy film of the year. If this movie is any indication this will be a good year for actresses.
Film opens in NY and LA today and will roll out throughout the country over the next couple of weeks.