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on December 31, 2008
Others told the plot so I won't go there.

I never read the book, but because of the poor reviews here, I will. However,I just watched this for the second time on TV and loved it (again).Yes, it's "cheesey" as one other reviewer put it but no more so than many,many other made for TV movies.I like "cheesey" or as I'd rather say "sappy".I'm not looking for a blockbuster of a movie on Lifetime. It's the type of movie you'd expect from them.I did have a few tears run down my cheek at the end.( sappy )If you're looking for a great production...look elsewhere but if you want the type of movie Lifetime puts out....go for it. I didn't have any trouble following along having not read the book.
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on September 16, 2008
If you've read the book first, don't waste your time watching the movie because you will be sorely disappointed. The director has left out characters from the book and key parts of the story, leaving the movie a mess and hard to follow. I liked the book, but anyone who watches this is certainly not going to be pused to read it. It's the worst case of book to movie I've ever seen!
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THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER in the form of a novel by Kim Edwards was a highly successful bestseller and probably was featured in more reading groups than any other novel during its circulation. So what happened when the novel became a made-for-television movie? Perhaps it is the below mediocre screenplay (oops!, teleplay!) by John Pielmeier that consistently galumphs along in an awkward pedestrian fashion removing all sense of credibility to the story. Perhaps it is the cut and paste direction by Mick Jackson that misses the pacing and character delineation. Perhaps it suffers from the cinematography of an uncredited source or the 'liquid tears' musical score by Daniel Licht. For whatever of these (or all of these) reasons, this novel-to-film survives because it does make a good case for educating the public about the capabilities of those born with Down Syndrome. And for that it is worthy of attention.

Dr. David Henry (Dermot Mulroney), a successful orthopedic doctor, is married to the beautiful Norah (Gretchen Mol) and their lives are becoming changed by their pregnancy. On a stormy winter night in Kentucky Norah goes into labor and the Henry's rush to a nearby clinic where David delivers his wife (the doctor is caught in a snowstorm) with the assistance of his old friend, nurse Caroline Gill (Emily Watson). After the delivery of a perfect boy child (Paul) Norah continues to be in labor and (surprisingly...) delivers an unexpected (!) twin girl. David and Caroline immediately recognize that the little girl (Phoebe) is a 'mongoloid' (this is before the use of the term Down Syndrome) and David, having a history of losing a little sister because of a birth defect) decides to send Phoebe to an asylum for the mentally challenged: Caroline is to make the delivery and Norah is told the second twin died at birth.

Caroline follows instructions, sees the conditions of the 'home' where Phoebe is to be deposited, shrinks in horror, and decides to keep the child. Aided by a friendly trucker, Caroline changes her solitary existence and mothers Phoebe, finding a new life in her trucker's Pittsburgh. Norah insists on a formal funeral for Phoebe - a fact that deeply disturbs David's psyche, and the Henry's life goes on with only the one child Paul, leaving submerged pains about the lack of Phoebe's presence. Norah gifts David with a camera ('peoples lives are like a camera, that's where they live - in a room captured by a moment') and David becomes obsessed with photography. Norah grieves, drinks, and loses David's attention, while David traces Phoebe's existence with Caroline - sending money and letters to Pittsburgh. Paul (Tyler Stentiford to Jamie Spilchuk) grows up, discovers his mother's infidelities and is angered about his father's lack of communication and understanding, and decides to fulfill his goal of becoming a musician, and off to Juilliard he goes. Meanwhile Phoebe (Krystal Hope Nausbaum) has matured into a very highly adapted young girl, and the manner in which the broken marriage of the Henrys happens and the healing atmosphere of Phoebe's and Paul's lives coupled with the courage that has supported Caroline Gill's struggle to gain acceptance in the world for those born with Down Syndrome forms the conclusion of the film.

The cast of well-known actors tries hard, but only Emily Watson is able to resurrect a credible character from this squishy script. Jamie Spilchuk gives evidence of a young actor with much promise. Dermot Mulroney and Gretchen find it difficult to mold empathetic characters form the corny lines they are given to deliver. The film is a mess, but the message about acceptance of Down Syndrome children and adults is an important one. Grady Harp, October 08
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on September 7, 2015
I loved the book when I read it several years ago so I was curious about whether or not the movie would stay true to the story. As well as I recall, it did a decent job. A moving film about a man who gives up his handicapped daughter and tells his wife the baby had died.
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on June 9, 2013
I bought this movie because I have the book. The movie does follow the book. It is a disturbing story. It is about a man that delivered his wife's twins and one was a mongaloid (don't know how to spell). He asked the nurse to take the baby away and never let his wife know. His lies all but drove him crazy and ruins his life in my opinion. Spoiler alert. His wife never finds out until her husband's death. In the end, she and her son meet his twin sister. The nurse raised her and did a really good job. The movie leaves you thinking that they will all remain with their current families but will continue to see each other. Disturbing movie with a sweet ending.
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on February 28, 2015
This is a really good, but heartbreaking movie. It ends on a somewhat happy note, but is pretty sad throughout. I love Dermot Mulroney, so that is what drew me to the film. Love, love, love the actors who portray "Phoebe" in the film and the different ages of her life. Precious girls.
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on February 16, 2016
Very moving story well portrayed by Emily Watson, Dermot Mulroney, and the entire cast. Excellent example of parents' struggle with difficult decisions and the impact on the lives of those involved, including guilt and regrets experienced over time. Also highlights the challenges and struggles of children with special needs and society's response to those needs.
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on May 17, 2014

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on June 1, 2014
All met my expectations and there were no flaws. What I appreciated most was that I forgot I ordered
this movie and tried to reorder. Memory is a medical problem with me due to surgery and when I
received the note that this was already purchased once, it kept me from ordering an unnecessary second
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VINE VOICEon October 28, 2008
I recently watched "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" because I had always wanted to read the book but never got around to it, so I thought the movie would be a good substitute. I was wrong.

This made for Lifetime TV Movie feels more like half a story than a full movie. At points you can see that there is a good story that underlies the film, but the script doesn't take the time to develop the characters or explore the emotional aspects of the story, and without these pieces you can't make a really great film. Instead, the movie is paced like a TV show, quickly jumping between key events with little or no plot or character development. You are left wondering why certain characters act as they do as the story quickly moves to the next plot point. The movie also has a high made-for-TV cheese factor, with plenty of over acting and dramatic music.

I wish the "Memory Keeper's Daughter" had received better treatment--writing, directing, acting, etc--because I really do think it could have been a good film. I'm still interested in reading the book, even though I was soundly disappointed by this adaptation.
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