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Mother and Child


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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 (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EYVXQO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,056 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.

Amazon.com

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

What can I say.
William Patterson
It is a searing emotional journey of several complex female characters on very different paths that converge.
Bettyboy72
The cast is amazing, the story is very real.
fun times mama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steven Carrier on February 20, 2011
Format: DVD
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 By Dennis J. Pauly on 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. on January 4, 2012
Format: DVD
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By raphael cohen-almagor on October 7, 2012
Format: DVD
The stories of several mothers are interwoven in this drama about motherhood: The longing to become a mother; the pains of motherhood; the heart-wrenching suffering of those who wish to evade motherhood. It is a sad story. The joy of motherhood hardly features in this film. It is about women. They dominate the film. Men play a secondary, most of the time flat and unassuming role. Men can be thoughtful, kind and sensitive, but they have nothing to say in motherhood. This film is about the hard, lonely world of mothers.

Karen (Annette Bening) gave birth to her only child when she was fourteen and gave her up for adoption. This momentous event ruined her life. Consumed by guilt, she was unable to establish any meaningful relationships with men. She lived with her mother until her mother died but both women did not really open themselves for one another. Karen knows she is "difficult": judgmental, stubborn, opinionated, uncompromising, determined, strong-willed, and very lonely. Although her daughter plays very important part in her life, Karen never tried to look for her.

Everything changes when Paco (Jimmy Smits) enters her life. It was not easy for him to penetrate the stubborn-sturdy walls that Karen erected around herself but he finds a way, to Karen's surprise. "Where did you come from?" she asks him. Karen's opened to Paco's abundant kindness, and quickly marries him. Paco "leads his way" to persuade her to look for her daughter, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) had a very difficult life. From a very young age, she had to live alone and to force herself into the world.
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