Mother and Child

16 Jul

Title: Mother and Child
Year: 2010
Director: Rodrigo García
Writer: Rodrigo García
Starring: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Shareeka Epps, Jimmy Smits, David Morse, Cherry Jones
MPAA Rating: R, sexuality, brief nudity and language
Runtime: 125 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Rodrigo García is the man that produced and developed In Treatment for HBO, the groundbreaking series about a psychotherapist, and in that series he puts a lot of care into the feelings of his characters, and he has a very tactful and skilled hand when it comes to that which he has developed over years with experience in these sort of films and projects, and he shows that to full effect here in Mother and Child, the film he wrote and directed, he’s truly a brave director when it comes to crafting such fine characters, and in here he got a top-notch cast that all give him wonderful performances.

The title obviously tell you what you will see in this film, a series of mother-child relationships, three different mothers all depending on their child, and it’s truly beautiful to watch the attention to detail García gives as he creates these characters and the emotionally affecting story he tells with this film, and, as I said, he is aided a lot by his cast, because each and every member of it brought nothing but their A-game to this one, and when you look at the names up there in the cast listing, you know that the A-game from those actors is some seriously good game.

Annette Bening, for instance, is having a banner year, what with the performance she gives in this and the one she gives in The Kids Are All Right being two of the best she’s ever given, and in this one she plays Karen, a physical therapist who takes care of her ailing mother but who, she realizes, will have no one to take care of her when she reaches that point in her life, and then she starts regretting giving up for adoption the baby she had when she was barely fourteen. Then we have Naomi Watts, also in of the best performances she’s ever given, as Elizabeth, a hotshot lawyer who uses her sexuality to get in bed with one of her new firm’s partners, played by a terrific Samuel L. Jackson, and who just plainly loves power, she, however, never even got to meet her real parents. And the third woman, Lucy, is played by Kerry Washington, she is happily married and trying to adopt a baby, but finds herself pitted against the birth mother she has found and who is played by Shareeka Epps, and let me tell you, both Washington and Epps are also great in this one, rounding up a pretty flawless cast.

García in this film crafts a truly exceptional look at the mother-child relationship, and by interweaving these stories he adds complexity to it, but somehow manages to do that without taking away from what it was before, and I love his ability to do that, and with this remarkable main cast, plus the actors in smaller roles like Cherry Jones as Sister Joanne who are also amazing, he gives me one of the films I’m sure I will remember most when the year comes to a close, I love films like this, deeply moving and with great performances, and Watts, who filmed her role in just eight days, along with Bening and Washington give three stellar performances, and the supporting cast is tremendous as well, especially Jackson, which is something I’m surprised to say, this is a different sort of role than the ones we’ve seen him tackle lately, and with it we are reminded that he truly is a great actor, reminders like that are nice to have, and the power that this film carries is also sublime to experience.

Grade: A-


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