Monday, December 27, 2010


Rated: R

Stars: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Genre: Drama

Rife with poignant moments and superb performances, Mother and Child follows the interconnected lives of three women: The middle-aged Karen, (Annette Bening) who bore a child at the age of 14 and gave it up for adoption; Her child as an adult, Elizabeth, (Naomi Watts); and Lucy, (Kerry Washington) a young woman anxious to adopt a child.

Annette Bening--who remains one of our most talented actresses--shines as a moody, difficult woman, haunted by her decision lo these many years. Naomi Watts has always been an "anything goes" film presence, (see Mullholland Drive) and she's still willing to bare a lot more than her soul. Her portrayal of a promiscuous, emotionally numb young woman is spot on.

What can sometimes be the emotionally devastating effects of the adoption game may be a bit overplayed here, but Mother and Child is a film with its heart in the right place.

Grade: B +


Stars: Cameron Diaz, Ewan McGregor, Holly Hunter, Delroy Lindo
Director: Danny Boyle
Genre: Dark Comedy

Holly Hunter steals the show as a gun-toting, tobacco juice spitting emissary from heaven who, along with her sidekick, (Delroy Lindo) is on a mission to unite two unlikely bedfellows (Cameron Diaz and Ewan McGregor) in true romance.

Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) demonstrated his directorial prowess early on in this quirky, high energy romp that seeks to answer the question: IS LOVE MERELY AN EMOTIONAL ADAPTATION TO A PHYSICAL NECESSITY?

Retro Grade: B


  1. Naomi gave the best amongst the 3 outstanding performances in "Mother and Child", and she also leads the cast including Annette Bening and Kerry Washington. Sorry, why did you alter the official cast order to slight her after Bening?

  2. Thanks for the comment, Richard. I don't think in terms of "official" cast order, but Naomi Watts has a ways to go before she's in the same class as Annette Bening--generally regarded as one of our finest working actors today...and in my opinion as well.