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Mother and Child (2010)

Naomi Watts , Annette Bening , Rodrigo García  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening
  • Directors: Rodrigo García
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,614 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mother and Child" on IMDb

Special Features

Creating the Family Tree
Universally Connected
Deleted Scenes with Introductions by Director Rodrigo Garcia

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From writer-director Rodrigo Garcia (TV'S Big Love, Nine Lives) and executive producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) comes the moving story of three women and the power of the unbreakable bond between mother and child. Three women's lives share a common core: the have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) placed a baby for adoption at age 14 and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) and her husband are just embarking on the adoption odyssey, hoping for the opportunity to become parents.

Nine Lives director Rodrigo García explores the maternal instinct in Mother and Child through three disparate L.A. women: Karen (Annette Bening), a physical therapist, cares for her ailing mother; Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) works as a high-powered attorney; and Lucy (Kerry Washington), a bakery owner, plans to adopt (only Lucy has a spouse). An opening sequence reveals that Karen, who became pregnant at 14, gave Elizabeth up for adoption. Though the daughter has no desire to track down the mother, Karen has been mourning her loss for decades, never working up the nerve to take the next step. All three turn to the same adoption agency (Cherry Jones, who donned a nun's habit for Broadway's Doubt, plays Sister Joanne). When Karen yields to the advances of a kindly divorcé (Jimmy Smits), and Elizabeth, who's been sleeping with her boss (Samuel L. Jackson) and her married neighbor (Marc Blucas), finds herself with child, their feelings of anger and resentment start to melt. Lucy, meanwhile, has been meeting with a prickly expectant mother (Half Nelson's Shareeka Epps) who may hold the key to her happiness--assuming that a baby will solve all life's problems. García clearly venerates motherhood, but he doesn't let any of his characters off the hook: Karen can be cruel, Elizabeth can be cold, and Lucy can be whiny, but they overcome their lesser natures. There are a few missteps, like a soft-focus montage toward the end, but García manages a sprawling cast with finesse, and his gifted leads have rarely been better. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
"Mother and Child" was written and directed by Rodrigo García. It came out in 2009 but is now just opening in Indianapolis. The story alludes to many different mother and child relationships but mainly focuses on three women: a 50 year old woman played by Annette Benning, the 37 year old daughter she gave up for adoption played by Naomi Watts, and another woman looking to adopt a child of her own played by Kerry Washington.

Even though there are cases of a man and a woman together discussing a child, the focus is always on the woman's reaction and emotions to events going on around her. It may sound chick-flicky, but this was a powerful drama that transcends that. This was a very effective piece of work carried off brilliantly mostly due to these three women and a few more besides.

Annette Bening hasn't lost her touch. Her character, Karen had to give up her baby for adoption at age 14 and it has plagued her life nonstop ever since. She never moved out and still takes care of her ill and aged mother, Nora played by Eileen Ryan who made this decision for her. To say she is a very "difficult" person to get close to would be an understatement, she is practically a hedgehog! The only coping mechanism she appears to get by with is writing letters in a journal to the daughter she never met wondering how she is and if she was raised well. Bening successfully froze herself at the social development state of a 14 year old in interacting with others and is very guarded even when attempting to ask a new man at her workplace out for coffee.

Her unknown daughter, Naomi Watts' Elizabeth has raised herself well after never being very close with her adopted parents and being self sufficient since age 17.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked masterpiece February 20, 2011
Rodrigo Garcia's "Mother and Child" is an incredible and emotionally epic film. We didn't need any more proof that Annette Bening and Naomi Watts were two of the best actresses in their age groups, but this film cements the deal. Bening (with her searing turn in this film as well as The Kids Are All Right) and Watts (completing her 2010 hat trick with You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Fair Game) are so compelling and affecting. Kerry Washington also delivers fine work here, completing the trio of women whose lives have been affected for generations by adoption. Garcia's writing is poignant and far reaching. He has an amazing command over this three leads, the story, it's progression- both narratively and fated, and his many supporting players (most notably Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits). "Mother and Child" is a film that reminds us how affecting a symbolic, well told and meaningful story can be. How well written characters experiencing real emotion are the truest of special effects. "Mother and Child" is an outstanding motion picture.

It's almost kind of shocking how "Mother and Child" was and is ignored, this is what so many movies should be like.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RODRIGO GARCÍA, OPUS 5 January 4, 2012
Imagine a film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu but with a linear narrative. Imagine now a superb extended metaphor on adoption, hence on filiation, interpreted by actors skillfully directed. You get it ? Now, you have before your very eyes one of the best American movies of 2009. Unfairly ignored. Masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Acted February 14, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Annette Bening won raves for THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT but I like her even better in this film which unfortunately was not seen by that many people. Bening portrays a woman who gave birth at 14 and was forced to put the child up for adoption. That girl, now grown, is played by Naomi Watts and the film also deals with her life and
how she has hardened herself not to be hurt. The third story involves a childness
African-American couple who wish to adopt a child. The three stories come together by the end of the film. There are very fine performances from Cherry Jones and
Epatha Merkerson. This is why I love home video. A movie that might have disappeared after a couple of weeks in the theaters gets an extended life. I strongly recommend this film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the MOST touching drama of the year August 8, 2010
By Muffin
i'm not usually drawn to tear-driven movies...but this one is quite an exception. Annette Bening, as usual, plays exceptional well...and the story is so awesome and realistic, it is in fact a lot of people's story.

Can't wait to see again on the upcoming DVD. MUST-SEE, especially if you're sensitive enough:)))
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who can count the apples in a seed? April 20, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Beautifully woven. Beautifully told. A story of how for every human heart there comes a chance to choose. And when it seems too late, time circles back for us with second chances. Lovely, hopeful, tender.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great drama - boring title June 27, 2011
Mother and Child (drama)
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia
Starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson

Sony Pictures | 2009 | 127 min | Rated R | Released Dec 14, 2010

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English, English SDH

Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc

The Film 4.5/5

In the special features, director Rodrigo Garcia describes Mother and Child as "a drama for grown-ups" and he's exactly right. The film is aimed at people who enjoy emotional drama, and examining the connections between people. While I was watching, I found myself comparing the structure of the story to 21 Grams and Babel, only to find that the director of those films, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was listed as an executive producer.

The film follows three story arcs and ultimately brings them together.

The most interesting character is Karen (Bening) who had a baby girl when she was 14 and gave her up for adoption. We see how she cares for her own mother and puts her life on hold because of her. But on some level, she wonders what happened to her own child. She mentions in the opening minutes of the film that her daughter's birthday is coming up and she'll be 37.

We then see Elizabeth (Watts) applying for a job as a lawyer. She mentions that she was adopted and that her mother had her when she was 14. Her potential employer, Paul (Jackson), is impressed by her honesty and credentials and she gets the job.

A third woman, Lucy (Washington), is unable to have children of her own and is desperate to adopt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Adoptive Parents Must See
Umm...I don't really have time to write all that I think about this movie. If you are an adoptive parent or have somehow been blessed or touched by adoption in your life then this... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Donovan Godfrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Beautiful story about adoption. Every adopted child should see. Every mother who gave up a child should see.
Published 8 days ago by Bonsai Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this
Published 12 days ago by AllisonNJ
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good movie. Interesting to see Samuel Jackson this kind ...
A very good movie. Interesting to see Samuel Jackson this kind of role. I shared it with others and they loved it.
Published 12 days ago by DEE DEE
5.0 out of 5 stars very good..
It was very, very good...
Published 13 days ago by walter smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Real, compelling, and bittersweet.
This film still haunts me, but in a good way. Few films have the rawness of this film, and few films have the guts to let their actresses ACT. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Dht
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
writing, acting and directing are superb
Published 24 days ago by Susan E. Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely a terrific story & cast that I had to get this ...
Absolutely a terrific story & cast that I had to get this movie for a relative after viewing it. A++
Published 24 days ago by Connie Heisler
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Drama About Adoption From Adult Point of View
Interesting and complex film about adoption from the point of view of both adopters and adoptees as adults, with their intertwining lives. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul A. Klinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie, really good story line.
Published 2 months ago by Jennifer Baker
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