.

Mother and Child

Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington

Directed by Rodrigo Garcia
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 6, 2010

Dynamite performances from Annette Bening and Naomi Watts ignite this strong drama from writer-director Rodrigo Garcia. Bening, at her blistering best, plays Karen, a physical therapist who was 14 when she gave up her daughter for adoption. Thirty-five years later, Karen has still frozen herself off from feeling, even when Paco (Jimmy Smits), a compassionate colleague, attempts to get close. Watts portrays Elizabeth, the daughter Karen has never met but who shares her mother's bitterness. Elizabeth is a hotshot lawyer, but it's clear that she feels shortchanged by life. Control is what she prizes above all things. When Elizabeth initiates an affair with Paul (a subtly nuanced portrait by Samuel L. Jackson), her widower boss, it's on her terms. The sex scene between these two can fairly be called chillingly erotic.

The plot escalates along with the film's emotive temperature when Elizabeth becomes pregnant. Garcia also introduces a third woman to the mix. She's Lucy (Kerry Washington), a childless married woman who turns to the adoption market with a vengeance. It's through the stories of these three women that Garcia examines parenthood from oblique angles that barely intersect but yield reservoirs of feeling. Garcia, acclaimed for the features Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives and his work on the HBO series In Treatment, takes the time to build character. In Mother and Child, he creates an emotional powerhouse.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com