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Losing Isaiah (1995)

Jessica Lange , Halle Berry , Stephen Gyllenhaal  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Price: $29.38 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, David Strathairn, Cuba Gooding Jr., Daisy Eagan
  • Directors: Stephen Gyllenhaal
  • Writers: Naomi Foner, Seth Margolis
  • Producers: Hawk Koch, Kimberly Brent, Naomi Foner, Sharon Owyang
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A2ZNM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Losing Isaiah" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Losing Isaiah (View amazon detail page) ASIN: B0000A2ZNM Binding: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AND A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM September 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Isaiah is known as one of the greatest prophets of Israel. Such is the case with this little African- American boy who was abandoned in the trash by his crack crazed mother. Three years later his mother, now clean, decides to reclaim her child. All of this sounds easy but little Isaiah has been adopted by a white social worker and her family and she is determined to keep him at all costs. The drama which unfolds before us is heart breaking as we attempt to decide what is in the best interest of this child.
Halle Berry, Jessica Lange And Samuel Jackson give outstanding performances in enacting the rivalry and possessive claims that both women have on this young toddler. Poverty versus Affluence, the feasibility of inter-racial adoptions, marital/parental stability (and responsibility) and the do gooder mentality are themes that run their course throughout the drama. All of these elements are dealt with in the drama and pulls the viewer from one woman's claim to the other. Who is right? Does pigmentation or culture matter? Above all, what has love got to do with it?
Social workers and judges in juvenile courts across the country are daily making these decisions of terminating parental rights and placing children in what they see as stable homes. Losing Isaiah is not a fantasy but a present reality. How to resolve these issues of custody is the dilemma for all involved. There are not any easy answers and unfortunately this film ends with an "easy" answer which isn't realistic.
The little Isaiah in the film, like his prophet namesake calls these adults to spiritual, moral and social accountability. His impact makes Margaret (the social worker) deal with what is going on in her marriage and family.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's best for Isaiah? September 20, 2005
Perhaps the biggest complaint I have with custody battles is that they are ultimately based around the selfishness of the adults involved, whether it be a battle between the child's mother and father, or between the biological parent(s) and the foster parent(s). "Losing Isaiah" is an example of a movie that uses this sad truth to tell a compelling story.

Normally, I'd be quick to write off someone like Halle Berry's character (a former crack addict who abandoned her baby in an alley) as someone unfit to raise this child. I'd also be uneasy about tearing Isaiah away from the only home he's ever known. Thankfully, this film does not end there.

After the courtroom decision is rendered, we see a much different Isaiah than the playful, cheerful child we first encountered. Did anyone bother to stop and ask him what he wanted? In an ideal world, someone would have. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, but at least we have people who (albeit a little slowly) realize this mistake in "Losing Isaiah." Were I to be given the assignment of filming a movie based around a custody battle, this is the kind of movie I would make.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Emotional October 26, 2003
For those of you that think Halle is just a pretty face...hopefully her Oscar winning performance in "Monster's Ball" showed you that she wasn't...but if you still have doubts this is a movie you should see. Halle is well deserving of an Oscar in this film as well, she plays a crack addicted homeless woman who loses it all and dumps her baby in the trash just so she can get a hit...when she comes out of her drug stooper she then realizes her mistake, but it's too late. The baby was adopted by a white family and she believes her baby to have died. The movie takes off from there, the white family raises and cares for the child. After Halle's character struggles but reforms herself she finds out that the child is still alive. Then the battle for who is rightfully the parent of the child begins. Some of the highlights here...Samuel L. Jackson's role as Halle's Lawyer and the scene in which the 2 "mothers" meet in the bathroom for the first time...that is a very powerful scene. The movie is a very powerful and moving piece of cinema. Excellent film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contaversial August 27, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Since I am adopted myself, I found this a interesting movie. Interestingly enough, the director presents both sides well, and doesn't seem too favor either. This is a relief considering many "political" films that come out today. Many of which, the director tries to brainwash you into thinking his way. (example: Republicans are evil) Instead the director allows you too form your own opinions. This is a heavy film and it will get you involved as well as raise many questions. Such as who is more of a mother? The one who gave birth or the one who raises him? And also just because you can give birth does that make you a mother?This film will leave some feeling that justice has been served, and others it will leave angry. However, this film doesn't have all the answers an it wisely ends unresolved, letting you form your own convictions. My conviction? Some people do not deserve children. But the beauty of this film is that it may leave you feeling otherwise, because it's not manipulative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Losing Isaiah February 22, 2010
An African-American baby, abandoned by his crack addicted mother is adopted by a white social worker and her husband. Several years later, the baby's mother finds out her son is not dead, as she thought before and goes to court to get him back. "Losing Isaiah" is a movie that attempts to deal honestly with the issues of interracial adoption. Halle Berry is compelling as the "gone straight" crack addict that threw her son away. Jessica Lang also gives a strong performance. For all the movies that waste our time, this one helps to make up for it. An interesting dilemma.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dvd isnt worth the price
Good price but 25℅ of my DVD skips causing me to miss parts of the movie. They should check that they all work first
Published 22 days ago by Tiffany Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars very good viewing
This movie came in the best condition and has the best viewing. My daughter loves this movie she shows it to every friend that comes over. over and over.
Published 1 month ago by Pumpkin Pie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Wonderful movie about experience on how other people have problems. Knowing that other people who want children can raise a different child and love them the same.
Published 1 month ago by Renee Whitehorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Very good and classic movie! Being that I am a real social worker, I hate the way the social worker is portrayed in the movie.
Published 1 month ago by RiaG
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Delivery, Great Product
No complaints! Delivery was fast, and the movie was nicely packaged. New, as advertised. This is one of my favorite movies, and I was thrilled that I was able to get it at such a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Crystal S
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie
I like this movie. I like this movie because the boy got to stay with the family that he has known when he was growing up.
Published 3 months ago by buckeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear jerker!
A friend recommended the movie, I'd never heard of it before. I am glad I rented it. It was a very good movie and I would watch it again!
Published 5 months ago by Daisygrrl80
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, Great price
I Love this movie, watched it years ago. Bought it used, however it was in good condition! Price was fair.
Published 7 months ago by vonnieluv
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story!!!
Halle Berry is great!! If you are looking for a movie that is powerful and moving, and will make you cry - this is it!!!!
Published 8 months ago by bmgecan
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie, excellent quality.
What can I say, I absolutely love this movie. I rented it for $3.99, for 48 hours. The HD depends on your internet speed. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Eddie
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